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$90billion JobKeeper program ending hasn't ruined Australia's economy after budget

Job ads are at record highs despite fears the end of JobKeeper funding would ruin employment numbers

Fears that Australia’s economic recovery could be ruined by the end of the $90 billion JobKeeper scheme are “overblown” – with demand for labor at a record high

  • Some experts warned that ending the JobKeeper subsidy would threaten the economy
  • According to employment agencies, however, there are more jobs than ever before
  • The subsidy was introduced in March 2020 with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic

The recent spate of jobs indicators suggests that fears that the end of the JobKeeper scheme would cause a major hiccup in Australia’s impressive jobs recovery are overdone.

And Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s budget for this week, which focuses on high spending and jobs, aims to keep it that way.

The successful JobKeeper wage subsidy, introduced during the peak of the pandemic, ended in March.

However, the latest employment report from job provider SEEK shows that demand for labor remains at record levels.

Job ads are at record highs despite fears the end of JobKeeper funding would ruin employment numbers

Job ads are at record highs despite fears the end of JobKeeper funding would ruin employment numbers

It shows that job listings rose 11.9 percent in April, a second straight month of record listings.

Compared to a year ago when the economy was in recession, job listings are now a staggering 263.7 percent higher – while for a more meaningful comparison, they’re up 30.9 percent from April 2019.

“Traditionally we would speak of a quieter job market at this time of year due to the impact of the Easter holidays on recruitment,” said SEEK ANZ Managing Director Kendra Banks.

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“The COVID recovery continues, particularly in small and medium-sized businesses. Many of the positions currently advertised relate to positions that were postponed in the (last) year.’

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's budget for this week of high spending and jobs aims to keep the economy strong (pictured Wednesday).

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s budget for this week of high spending and jobs aims to keep the economy strong (pictured Wednesday).

Applications per ad, however, have fallen to their lowest level since 2012.

In February, applications per ad were 28.7 percent lower than in February 2020 and fell another 13.8 percent in March.

“Reasons for this include workers’ continued cautious attitude towards the labor market and reduced labor supply, which is affecting ability to fill vacancies,” Ms Banks said.

Preliminary job vacancy figures released earlier this week by the National Skills Commission also showed that job advertisements posted online rose for the 12th straight month.

At the same time, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ payroll report showed employment rose 0.4 per cent in the two weeks to April 24, although the ABS said it was still difficult to assess at this point whether there would be any given the timing Effects on JobKeeper have given Easter.

The report is a precursor to the full April jobs data release due next Thursday.

Job ads rose 11.9 percent in April, a second straight month of record listings (pictured, trading in Sydney on Tuesday)

Job ads rose 11.9 percent in April, a second straight month of record listings (pictured, trading in Sydney on Tuesday)

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