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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3767 ..


Answers to questions

Economy—unemployment(Question No 369)

Ms Castley asked the Minister for Business and Better Regulation, upon notice, on 6 August 2021 (redirected to the Treasurer):

(1) Given that the ACT’s unemployment rate surged in June to 4.9 percent up from 3.6 percent in May, how many Canberrans lost their jobs during this period.

(2) Is it correct, as stated by ACT Treasury, that this represented a decline of 5,900 people, as reported in the The Canberra Times on 26 July.

(3) Can the Minister provide, in relation to these newly unemployed Canberrans, (a) in what sectors were they employed, (b) did they work full-time, part-time or casual, (c) how old they were and (d) what was their salary.

(4) What are the reasons for the ACT unemployment rate rising so sharply.

(5) What are Treasury’s predictions for unemployment in the ACT over the next six to 12 months, and beyond.

(6) In what sectors are the main job losses.

(7) In what sectors in the ACT are there job increases.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has paused publication of labour force data in trend terms as a result of significant volatility in the data and changes in the labour market due to COVID-19. As a result, monthly outcomes should be viewed with caution.

According to the ABS’s Labour Force Survey, the level of employment in the ACT fell by 5,900 people to 232,300 people in June 2021, from 238,200 people in May 2021. Since then, employment in the ACT rose by 1,400 people in July 2021 before falling by 7,900 people across August and September 2021 reflecting the impact of lockdown restrictions.

(2) See answer (1).

(3) The decline in ACT’s employment by 5,900 people in June 2021 was driven by declines in both part-time employment (down by 4,000 people) and full time employment (down by 1,900 people).

(a) Data on sector of previous employment is unavailable.

(b) Data on status of previous employment is unavailable.

(c) Data on unemployment by age is unavailable at a state/territory level.

(d) Data on wages and salaries from previous employment is unavailable.

(4) Following the increase to 4.9 per cent in June 2021, the unemployment rate in the ACT fell to 4.3 per cent in July 2021 and then to 3.5 per cent in August 2021 before


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