Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says JobKeeper dip signals economic recovery after COVID-19

‘Promising signs our economic recovery is well underway’

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says JobKeeper dip signals economic recovery after COVID-19

A significant drop in the number of workers receiving JobKeeper has signalled the start of Australia’s economic recovery, says Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

From September to October, the number of employees having their wages subsidised by the temporary scheme fell by 2.1 million.

There are now 1.5 million workers still on JobKeeper, while the amount of businesses qualifying decreased by 450,000 across the same time period.

Frydenberg said the figures are better than those projected in the 2020-2021 Budget, which estimated 2.2 million employees would be receiving JobKeeper at the end of the December quarter.

Read more: JobKeeper: 70% of workers from this sector are edged out

“The lower-than-forecast take-up of the JobKeeper Payment extension in October is further evidence that Australia’s recovery from this once-in-a-century pandemic is well underway,” he said in a statement.

“Recent economic data shows that outside Victoria, employment has recovered to be less than one per cent below March levels with some 650,000 jobs created in the past five months nationwide.

“While there is still a long road ahead, these are promising signs that our economic recovery is well underway.”

Under the $101.3 billion JobKeeper scheme, businesses must show a 30% reduction in pre-pandemic profits to qualify for government help.

The amount paid to employees is due to drop to $1000 per fortnight from January until March, when the scheme is scheduled to end.

Read more: JobKeeper extension: What you need to know

Amid the statistics released yesterday, the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced its forecast for the unemployment rate by 2%, now expecting it to peak at around 8%.

But the opposition’s Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers warned it was too early to celebrate Australia’s recovery.

"What looks like a recovery on paper will still feel like a recession for many Australians," he told the ABC.

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