Analysis by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs reveals that in June 52.1% of the Australian labour force were either directly employed by Commonwealth and state governments or local councils, or in receipt of the JobSeeker unemployment payment or the JobKeeper wage subsidy.
- According to data from the Treasury, there were 3,307,025 people receiving JobKeeper in June. This is equivalent to 25.4% of the labour force.
- According to data from the Department of Social Services, there were 1,441,287 people receiving JobSeeker in June. This is equivalent to 11.1% of the labour force.
- According to the most recent data available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 2,046,700 people employed by either the Commonwealth, State or local governments. This is equivalent to 15.7% of the labour force.
- This means that in June a total of 6,795,012 people were either directly employed by Commonwealth, state governments or local councils, or in receipt of the JobSeeker unemployment payment or the JobKeeper wage subsidy.
- According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 13,040,700 people in the labour force in June. This is the count of all Australians who are employed and those who are unemployed but looking for and available to work.
Comments attributable to Cian Hussey, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.
“Having so many Australians dependent on government benefits is not who we are as a country. Australians are a go-ahead-to-get-ahead people who want to get back to work in the productive, private sector of the economy.”
“The portion of the labour force relying on the government for income in June had not changed since April, even though every state and territory had removed some lockdown measures and Victoria had not entered its second lockdown. This shows that ‘freezing’ and ‘unfreezing’ the economy was never going to be possible and the attempt to do so has devastated the livelihoods of ordinary Australians.”
“Getting Australians back into work must be the number one priority for governments, which means cutting red and green tape, reducing taxes, and carving small businesses out of the Fair Work Act 2009.”
Note: Treasury data was obtained from Answers to Questions on Notice provided to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19. Department of Social Services data was obtained from data.gov.au. ABS data was obtained from Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia, 2018-19.