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Frydenberg: Job market is throwing off its COVID blues

Treasurer Josh Fydenberg sees nothing but better times ahead for jobseekers. Photo: TND
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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is confident of a strong rebound in the Australian labour market as COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns end.

Official jobs data for October released last week showed the unemployment rate unexpectedly spiking to 5.2 per cent from 4.6 per cent, although it did not capture the easing of restrictions in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

However Mr Frydenberg says Australian Taxation Office data shows payroll jobs rose 13 per cent in the fortnight to October 24.

New hires were 25 per cent up in NSW, 15 per cent higher in Victoria and 22 per cent stronger in the ACT.

“We are seeing thousands of new hires across the economy but also, importantly, we are going to see tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people come off zero hours and back into work,” the treasurer told Sky News’ Sunday agenda program.

“We are very confident of a strong rebound in the labour market, that we can see unemployment get back to the fours, bearing in mind it hadn’t been under five per cent for a decade.”

Treasury analysis using banking data also shows consumer spending is now greater than what is was pre-pandemic with NSW and Victoria spending an extra $150 million a day after the lockdowns eased.

Mr Frydenberg expects the economy is now facing a private sector-led recovery.

“We as the government are handing over the baton to the private sector to carry Australia’s economy forward as those lockdowns have ended,” he said.

“Our payments were emergency payments and once we got to that 80 per cent vaccination rare we could bring those emergency payments to an end.”

-AAP