Australia’s unemployment rate will top 9% as we head to Christmas, Treasurer says

Australia’s unemployment rate is predicted to hit 9.25% in the December quarter this year as the shockwaves from the Covid-19 pandemic continue to hit the national economy, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in updating the government’s budget figure

In the Economic and Fiscal Update released today, the Treasurer said 700,000 jobs had been saved as a result of government intervention such as the JobKeeper program.

“Without the government’s economic support measures unemployment would’ve peaked at 5 percentage points higher,” he said.

Nonetheless, 709,000 jobs were lost across the country in the June quarter, while another 1 million workers had their hours reduced.

While the nation’s debt bill will hit $851.9 billion in June 2021, Frydenberg said it was “manageable” and lower in terms of debt-to-GDP than many other countries.

“Net debt is expected to be $488.2 billion (24.6% of GDP) at 30 June 2020 and increase to $677.

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