Older workers face higher unemployment amid virus pandemic – Long Island Business News

For the first time in nearly 50 years, older workers face higher unemployment than their midcareer worker counterparts, according to a study released Tuesday by the New School university in New York City.

The pandemic has wrecked havoc on employment for people of all ages. But researchers found that during its course, workers 55 and older lost jobs sooner, were rehired slower and continue to face higher job losses than their counterparts ages 35 to 54.

It is the first time since 1973 that such a severe unemployment gap has persisted for six months or longer.

In every recession since the 1970s, older workers had persistently lower unemployment rates than midcareer workers — partly because of seniority benefits.

But in the current recession, older workers experienced higher unemployment rates than midcareer workers in each month since the onset of the pandemic.

The older workers’ unemployment rates from April through September were 1.1 percentage points higher than mid-career workers — at 9.7% versus 8.6%. The rates were compiled using a six-month rolling average and were far worse for older workers who are black, female or lack college degrees.

Among the newly unemployed older workers is Legasse Gamo, 65. He was laid off in March from his job as a baggage handler at Reagan National airport in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia.

While Gamo is afraid of exposing himself to the coronavirus by working around others, he said he has looked for work — because he feels he has little choice but to take any job he can find.

The contractor he worked for, Eulen America, has required its laid off employees to reapply for their jobs. Gamo did so but said he has received no reply.

The immigrant from Ethiopia supports three grandchildren, ages 6, 12 and 14, who live with him. His daughter is still employed, but her pay is not enough to cover their expenses. Gamo gets $210 a week in unemployment insurance payments and said he has spent almost all of his savings.

“I just want to get back to my job as soon as possible to support my family because I’m afraid we will end up homeless,” Gamo said.

The New School study focused only on workers with established careers. As a result, it did not examine workers younger than 35.

It found that the pandemic has posed a unique risk for older workers, said Teresa Ghilarducci, director of the New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis.

“The higher rate of unemployment for older workers might be because this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for employers to shed older workers and not fear investigation by the labor department,” Ghilarducci said.

She added: “Age discrimination rules are not being tightly enforced. Employers, fearing economic instability, may want to get rid of relatively more expensive workers and take their chances with training new workers when the economy recovers.”

Older workers often face age discrimination, making it difficult for them to find jobs. Researchers believe employers laid off and resisted rehiring older adults, in part because they tend to face more serious health risks when infected by the virus.

The unemployment spike for older workers could force more of them into early and involuntary retirement, worsen their financial well-being and exacerbate financial disparities already experienced by women, minorities and people without college degrees in terms of retirement security.

New School researchers estimated that 1.4 million workers over 55 remain lost their jobs since April and remain unemployed. The figure does not include workers who became unemployed in April and left the work force.

The situation could have deep ramifications for older workers close to retirement because their final years on the job are critical for those who have not saved enough for their retirement and expect to work longer to shore up their retirement funds.

The researchers recommended that Congress increase and extend unemployment benefits for older workers, discourage withdrawals from retirement accounts, lower Medicare eligibility to 50 and create a federal Older Workers Bureau to promote the welfare of older workers.

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Fed’s Bostic on why the South has the lowest unemployment rate in the country


The Southern region of the U.S. is currently experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in the country of 6.9%.

Notably many Southern states including Georgia and Florida were among the first to reopen parts of their economies while business lockdowns were in place in many parts of the country to curb the spread of coronavirus.

That’s not the reason why the unemployment rate in the region is so low compared to the Northeast where the rate is three percentage points higher as of August, said Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic.

“The virus came to us after it had been to California, the West Coast and New York. And so we got to learn some things about how we might be able to operate and do our economics, with the virus with us,” Bostic said on Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation”.

“That has turned out to be something that’s been quite helpful,” he added.

Having said that, Bostic expressed concern regarding the region’s economic recovery trajectory.

“In some segments, the economy is recovering and rebounding in a very robust way,” he said. Hotels, restaurants and small businesses “in particularly minority and lower-income communities,” he said “are seeing much more difficult situations.”

“Those segments where we’re not seeing that recovery, that’s really what I’m concerned about as we move forward.”

Bostic, who is the first Black leader of a regional Fed, has been floated as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s pick as either Federal Reserve Chairman or Treasury Secretary if he wins the election.

Related: Who’s who in Biden’s economic world

CBS’ Margaret Brennan asked Bostic if he’d be interested in filling either of those positions.

Bostic responded, “there’s so much going on right now that I am not thinking about that,” but didn’t say that he would turn down either position.

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Australia’s unemployment rate hits 6.9%, with 29,500 more people losing jobs | Unemployment

Unemployment in Australia nudged higher to 6.9% in September, with 29,500 more people out of work.

For the second consecutive month, Australia’s labour force outperformed expectations, although underemployment and youth unemployment continued to worsen.

After a surprise 0.7% drop in unemployment from 7.5% to 6.8% in August the Australian Bureau of Statistics release on Thursday revealed the loss of 20,100 full-time jobs and 9,400 part-time jobs in September.

Underemployment also increased by 0.1% to 11.4%, despite an 8.7m increase in hours worked. Participation decreased by 0.1 points to 64.8%.

Before the release of the unexpectedly steady figures, the Reserve Bank governor, Phil Lowe, said a recovery in the Australian economy “is now under way” but the shape and nature of it “remains highly uncertain”.

The federal budget projected that unemployment will reach 7.25% in 2020-21 and delivered more than $30bn of tax concessions to business and $18bn of income tax cuts to households to spur the recovery.

In a speech to an investment conference on Thursday, Lowe questioned whether households and businesses would spend and invest after building up savings buffers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lowe also noted the highly “uneven” impact of the Covid-19 recession, with “around 500,000 people under 35 losing their jobs in the early stages of the pandemic, and around 300,000 still out of work in August”.

That trend continued in September, with youth unemployment rate up 0.4 points to 14.5%. Women and men seem to be leaving the labour market at similar rates – participation is down 0.1 pts for men (to 69.6%) and 0.1 pts for women (to 60.1%).

The budget contained $4bn for youth wage subsidies but Labor and unions have targeted the government for failing to help older workers and to provide cheaper childcare to increase participation.

State by state, the Northern Territory had the biggest hit to employment (-5.5%) in September, followed by Victoria (-1.1%). Despite that, unemployment decreased in Victoria by 0.5%, due to a 1% decrease in the participation rate.

The Victorian underemployment rate of 14.9% is also much higher than the Australian average (11.4%), reflecting the lockdown.

Several states added jobs, with the number of employed people rising in Queensland (1.3%), South Australia (1%), Western Australia (0.2%) and New South Wales (0.1%).

Lowe said while the RBA had heard of labour shortages in WA, at the other end of the spectrum, in Victoria, jobs had fallen by 8% since March.

“Retail spending in Victoria in August was also 11% lower than at the start of the year – in contrast, spending in the rest of the country was up by 13%,” he said.

Lowe noted that the savings rate had increased due to increased government payments and early access to superannuation allowing households to pay down debt.

He said household income was likely to decrease in the December quarter as government supports became “more targeted” but argued it was “entirely possible” spending could increase if households draw on accumulated buffers.

It was “entirely appropriate” for the government to use fiscal policy to boost the economy, Lowe said, welcoming the fact that the budget provided “further support to the economy”.

After $98bn of new spending in the budget and public debt set to top $1tn, Lowe said the debt was “entirely manageable” due to the lowest interest rates in history.

Labor seized on the jobs results, with its employment spokesman, Brendan O’Connor, warning that jobkeeper wage subsidies would expire in March and “many more jobs” were likely to disappear.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions president, Michele O’Neil, said the Morrison government had “cut back critical support payments” by reducing jobkeeper and the coronavirus supplement in September.

“Now is not the time for the government to be cutting back – 160,000 workers are expected to lose their jobs between now and the end of the year,” she said. “The government needs to recommit to supporting these workers and start creating secure jobs to lift the economy out of recession.”

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Unemployment – The reasons behind America’s new wave of lay-offs | United States

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NSW’s unemployment rate is 6.7 per cent — but in these parts of Sydney it’s a very different story for young people

Geraldeen Ansumana has been looking for work since the start of this year.

The 19-year-old from Fairfield, in Sydney’s south-west, hears the same thing a lot: “We’re going to get back to you.”

“One place called me and said, ‘you’ve got a job, you need to have steel cap boots’,” she said.

“I got my boots and they never called me back.

“It’s quite difficult, because you’re having hopes like finally, I’ve got a job and I’m going to start working, and then they say, ‘we’re going to get back to you’,” she said.

Ms Ansumana is not alone.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the youth unemployment rate in Sydney’s south-west is 20.7 per cent.

Last week, the ABS said NSW’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 per cent, but the number of young people looking for work in Western Sydney tells a different story.

The data showed youth unemployment in Parramatta (15.8 per cent), Blacktown (15.4 per cent), and the Outer West/Blue Mountains (13.6 per cent) is a growing problem exacerbated by Australia’s pandemic-driven recession.

“One of the things that happens in a recession is the youth unemployment rises very significantly, and very quickly, and then it stays up for a very long period,” said Raja Junankar, a Professor of Economics at the University of NSW.

“And often the unemployment rate remains higher than before the recession,” he said.

He said there were also long-term issues that come with long periods of youth unemployment.

“It’s important to remember that for young people who become long term unemployed, that is unemployed usually for more than 12 months, it makes it even more difficult for them to find another job,” Professor Junankar said.

Raja Junankar says youth unemployment usually rises during a recession.(ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

He said the period of unemployment leaves the young person without work experience and a stigma that they might have a bad work ethic.

Thomas Lenthen lives in the Blue Mountains and wants to be a teacher.

But he also wants to take a gap year to bolster his finances before further study.

He’s expecting to be stressed over the next six months.

“A lot of stress because of exams, but a lot more stress because there’s not a lot of work, and my economic and my family’s economic situation, is quite dire,” he said.

He had found a job at a cafe earlier this year but was let go when the pandemic hit.

“It was really demoralising, especially in the first couple of weeks of being hired,” he said.

A man holds is hair with one hand
Thomas Lenthen lost his job in the first couple of weeks of being hired.(ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

Professor Junankar said it was a common experience.

“A lot of employers work on the basis of ‘last in, first out’,” he said.

“Which means young people are usually the newest employees in the labour market … so they’re the first ones to get dropped out.

“Employers can be quite fussy during a recession because they have a queue of people who are looking for kinds of jobs that these young people are looking for.”

Liam Sherman wants to be a mechanic but keeps getting knocked back for work.

A man wearing a mask works on a car
Liam Sherman admits the next six weeks are going to be tough as he searches for work.(ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

“These next six months, they’re going to be tough,” the 21-year-old said.

“I go home and I’m just like, what’s the point?

“And I used to be so upbeat about work, it’s really hard and tough.”

He grew up in Padstow and has a message for potential employers.

“We’re here, we’re ready, please help us out.”

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Australia’s unemployment figures are surprisingly good but the recovery is slowing | Greg Jericho | Business

This week’s unemployment figures brought some good news – but that number also disguised a lot of ongoing worries. We should not underestimate just how far we have to go to get back to where we were before the virus.

No one was expecting the unemployment rate to drop from 7.5% to 6.8%. It certainly did not square with what we were seeing in the weekly payroll job numbers.

The Bureau of Statistics noted that this is because almost all of the increase in employment was due to sole traders. And as AMP Capital senior economist Diana Mousina suggested, this was because of the partial re-instatement of “mutual obligation requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits”.

As AMP’s Shane Oliver pointed out, this meant these changes “may have encouraged them to report a return to employment even though they aren’t doing much”.

So it might not actually be a sign that there are more jobs, rather that people are pretending to work so they can access government benefits.

A more rational person might suggest this highlights just how dumb and counterproductive mutual obligation requirements are, but let us leave that arguments for another day.

We also need to realise that these numbers are estimates based on surveys, which is hard enough to do in the best of times. And these are not the best of times – just ask yourself how would you compare this current “season” with any previous and then produce a “seasonally adjusted” measure that makes sense.

That despite its massive lock-down, Victoria’s unemployment rose from 6.8% to just 7.1% – still well below the 7.5% the state recorded in June – suggest the figures may not be totally representative of reality.

But even putting those statistical doubts aside, 18% of Australian workers (some 2.4 million of us) are either unemployed or underemployed, a level equal with the worst period of the 1990s recession – hardly good news.

And importantly, while employment grew 0.9%, hours worked increased by just 0.1%.

This later aspect is why we’re a fair way from cracking open the champagne and declaring mission accomplished.

As I noted back in May, rather than looking at the unemployment rate, we are better off focusing on hours worked per capita.

In March, all Australians on average (which means also counting those not in the labour force) worked 85.6 hours a month. By May that had fallen to 76.5 hours – a drop of 9.1 hours a month.

In August we were back to 80.7 hours worked a month on average – meaning were are now “just” 4.9 hours a month below what we were working in March.

Or to put it another way, we have recovered 4.2 of the 9.1 hours we lost – roughly 46%.

When we look across the states we see clearly that those states that have done better at containing the virus – Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia – have recovered the most.

The ABS estimates that Tasmanians in August worked more hours on average than they did in March. (Which, to be honest, seems highly unlikely).

Victoria is now just 3% above the bottom reached in April, while New South Wales has recovered nearly two-thirds of its lost hours.

But while it is tempting to think that means we’re almost out of the Covid hole, we need to remember that the depth of that hole is beyond anything experienced since the Great Depression.

Even with the recovery, at its current point, the average hours worked by people in NSW has fallen in the past year by more than it did in one year during the 1990s recession.

And even if we exclude Victoria, the average hours worked in August were lower than any time since 1985 – back when women’s participation was so low, it would be the equivalent of having around 1.5 million fewer women in the labour force.

Moreover, in NSW most of the recovery occurred in June; August saw barely any improvement.

So yes, some good figures, and seemingly most states are more than half way to fully recovered, but there remains a very long way to go – and the recovery is slowing.

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Unemployment data shows 100,000 new jobs created between July and August 2020 despite coronavirus

When the pandemic struck back in March, Christina Vetta was working as a social media manager for an agency.

The company started to cut back so she decided to use the pandemic as a launch pad to start her own business.

“I basically decided to back myself and I resigned from my role and started my own social media agency,” Ms Vetta said.

The 37-year-old now runs her business “Social Hills” from her home in inner-city Surry Hills.

“Fast forward five months down the line and I’ve got a really good portfolio. I am very close to earning what I was earning at the agency,” she said.

Ms Vetta is among New South Wales workers who have managed to pivot and remain employed, despite more than 1 million Australians losing their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Official figures released on Thursday revealed a surprising bounce-back in employment, with more than 100,000 new jobs created around the country in the past month.

The official unemployment rate fell to 6.8 per cent in August, down from 7.5 per cent in July.

In NSW unemployment fell from 7.2 per cent to 6.7 per cent.

Only Victoria — where a second wave has caused widespread lockdowns — and Tasmania recorded higher unemployment between July and August.

But with 3.5 million people on JobKeeper, Sue-Lin Ong, Chief Economist at RBC Capital Markets, said it may be March — when the payment is scheduled to end — before the true number of people out of work becomes clear.

“There’s no doubt the JobKeeper program is flattering the official unemployment rate,” she said.

But she said the latest figures did give some cause for optimism.

“Outside of Victoria, there’s clearly some recovery going on in the broader labour market.”

For some, the pandemic has forced a career change.

Jen Rodgers, 34, has been working in hospitality since leaving school.

She loves the industry and at the start of the pandemic was working as the assistant manager of a cafe in North Richmond in the Hawkesbury.

Jen Rodgers with her daughter Emma, 4, is retraining as a primary school teacher.(Supplied)

But when her hours were reduced, it forced a rethink.

“I had a huge moment of having to reassess everything and just realised I had to find a different career path that was going to support me and my family better in the long run,” she said.

She’s now studying part-time to become a primary school teacher.

“I can honestly say if COVID hadn’t have happened, I wouldn’t have made the move,” she said.

Finding another job was ‘really quick’

Danielle Martin, 45, from Wollongong, has also made a career change, moving from a job in disability employment services to become a careers coach with a rehab company.

“Once the pandemic hit, all of a sudden you had pilots looking for jobs, you had restaurant managers, very skilled, experienced people, so my job became very difficult,” she said.

When her company announced it was restructuring due to COVID, Ms Martin would have had to take on a new position, with a pay cut of $11,400.

The day after, she sent off two job applications and one company got back to her straight away.

“I had a phone interview that Friday, a face to face Zoom interview the next Tuesday and I was offered the job on the Thursday so it was really quick,” she said.

She hasn’t look back since.

“I feel my strengths are coming out and I’m being challenged and I’m rising to it. It’s made me feel valued, I guess,” she said.

Ms Vetta’s new venture has been so successful she’s even taken on a part-time worker.

She said in her case the pandemic has been a catalyst for change.

“2020 has been the biggest opportunity and the most exciting time for me.”

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Australia’s unemployment rate falls to 6.8% – but more Victorians are out of work | Business

Australia’s employment rebounded with 111,000 more jobs in August compared with July, but more Victorians are out of work due to the state’s second wave of Covid-19 and Melbourne’s stage-four lockdown.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data, released on Thursday, confirms Australia’s two-speed economy, with unemployment falling overall by 0.7% to 6.8% but rising in Victoria to 7.1% after the loss of 42,400 jobs.

The treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra that although the figures show Australia’s economy is “remarkably resilient” and “fighting back”, the road to recovery will still be “long, hard and bumpy”.

The effective unemployment rate – including those who had left the labour market or worked zero hours – fell from 9.8% to 9.3% but “still remains high”, he said.

Before the release Scott Morrison defended the government’s decision to reduce jobkeeper wage subsidies and the coronavirus supplement from late September, suggesting they would be boosted by new job creation initiatives in the October budget.

Employment increased by 0.9% in August, the ABS found, but hours worked rose by just 0.1%. In Victoria hours fell by 4.8% compared with a 1.8% increase across the rest of Australia.

The rebound in jobs was stronger for women, with 67,000 more in work compared with 44,000 men.

Despite the improvement in unemployment, the underemployment rate remained at 11.2%, 2.4% above the level in March. The underutilisation rate, which combines the unemployment and underemployment rates, fell 0.7% to 18.0% but remained 4.7% higher than March.

The 111,000 boost to employment in seasonally adjusted terms resulted from a net increase in employment of 44,500 between July and August. This was driven by a surge of owner-managers without employees returning to work (50,200), dwarfing the minimal growth in the number of employees (up 2,600).

Employment grew in all states and territories except Victoria in August:

Paul Karp

Employment: down in all states and territories in April/May; everyone up except NT in June/July; and since August everyone up except Victoria – as second wave and stage 4 lockdown hit. #auspol pic.twitter.com/T1VswT5VpL

September 17, 2020

Victoria also has the highest proportion of employed workers on zero hours (3.5%):

Paul Karp

Although Victoria had comparable rates of people on ZERO HOURS (as a proportion of those employed) – by August it was an outlier. pic.twitter.com/XwdCsxpZrj

September 17, 2020

At the Covid-19 Senate inquiry hearing, Labor targeted the government over its decision to cut jobkeeper and jobseeker by $300 a fortnight from late September, with bigger cuts for part-time workers.

A Deloitte report released this week warned that reducing the coronavirus supplement would cost the economy $31bn and the equivalent of 145,000 full-time jobs over two years.

According to the McKell Institute, cuts to jobkeeper will take $9.9bn out of the economy by Christmas with a $1.52bn reduction in fortnightly support.

Earlier Morrison told reporters at BlueScope Steel in Port Kembla that jobkeeper needed to be reduced because “keeping the Australian economy on life support” was not sustainable, costing $11bn a month.

The government would use next month’s budget to announce “a lot of new plans, a lot of new initiatives, that will see us grow out of this Covid recession”, the prime minister added.

“We know the effective rate of unemployment is well over 10% and can peak a lot higher than that … Treasury advises it’s going to stay up around that 14% mark.

“It was falling before the Victorian wave hit us, and with Victoria opening up again we would expect to see that fall again.”

Labor’s shadow employment minister, Brendan O’Connor, said it welcomed the reduction in the unemployment rate but is concerned the figures “would convince the government not to do enough to help our economy and to help the almost 1 million Australian workers still out of work”.

“The government is foreshadowing that in just 10 days time they’re going to rip billions of dollars out of the economy, which could have very adverse effects on businesses and indeed on employment.”

On Wednesday, the OECD updated its forecasts for Australia’s economy, finding it is set to shrink by 4.1% in 2020, a 0.9% improvement on its June forecast, but grow by just 2.5% in 2021, down 1.6% on projections, indicating a slower recovery.

Frydenberg said the government would outline “the next stage of the jobmaker plan” in the October budget with a focus on tax, industrial relations, cutting red tape, energy, skills and infrastructure.

Luke Yeaman, the deputy secretary of Treasury’s macroeconomic group, told the inquiry that “in isolation” it was “undisputed” that tapering the jobkeeper and jobseeker rates “will take some income out of the economy”.

But Yeaman argued that “across large parts of the country”, except Victoria, economic indicators including the labour market had improved.

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Jobs figures show drop in unemployment rate

Australia’s unemployment figure has shocked pundits by unexpectedly falling to 6.8 per cent as the economy roars back to life in the states that have managed to reopen the economy.

Border closures and the coronavirus lockdown on Victoria have had a huge impact on the unemployment rate with some states that have reopened recording a surprise jobs boom.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, total jobs increased by a surprising 111,000 jobs in August, a figure propped up by the creation of over 70,000 part-time jobs.

The topsy turvy results were much better than expected in some states.

While employment fell overall by 413,000 job since March, unemployment has only increased by 200,000.

That underlines the Prime Minister’s concerns that the “real” unemployment rate is much higher because thousands have simply given up looking for work.

The national unemployment rate fell from 7.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent in August in a result few economists saw coming.

But in Victoria, where millions of Melburnians remained confined to their homes and banned from attending work, unemployment rose to 7.1 per cent up from 6.8 per cent during the previous month.

RELATED: Follow our latest coronavirus updates

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the NSW economy, where borders remained open, was the stand out performer.

“What we do know is that closed borders cost jobs,’’ Mr Frydenberg said.

“We recognise that despite this fall today, in Australia’s official unemployment rate, many Australians are doing it tough. And the road to recovery will be long, it will be hard, and it will be bumpy.

“But we have seen over the last three months 458,000 new jobs being created. Those 458,000 new jobs, 60 per cent of those jobs have gone to women and 40 per cent have gone to young people.”

Mr Frydenberg said the effective unemployment rate, which takes into account not just those who are unemployed officially, but those who have left the labour force or seen their hours reduced to zero, has fallen from 9.8 per cent to 9.3 per cent.

It was a different story in Western Australia which closed its borders and controlled COVID-19 early, with unemployment falling from 8.3 per cent to 7 per cent with 32,200 jobs created.

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt described the figures as “strong” but said there was “always more to do.”

Unemployment also fell in Queensland, which like WA has closed its borders to states still experiencing COVID-19 infections.

Queensland’s jobless rare fell from 8.8 per cent to 7.5 per cent.

The jobless rate fell in the Northern Territory from 7.5 per cent to just 4.2 per cent.

Today’s figures also challenge assumptions that women are hardest hit by COVID-19 lay offs with more women returning to the workforce after losing jobs in retail and hospitality as a result of shutdowns.

The new payroll figures suggest men are now just as likely to be out of work and are possibly taking longer to find work again after losing their jobs.

The surprise result comes amid warnings that Australia’s COVID-19 recession could last for four years, with economists predicting the jobs market may not return to normal until 2023.

Overnight, the OECD released new economic forecasts predicting the Australian economy will not get back to its pre-coronavirus level until 2022 with the Victorian coronavirus lockdown extending the recession.

ANZ economists have predicted it could take even longer to return to normal.

“We have downgraded our labour market forecasts, and now don’t expect employment to recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2023,’’ ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch said.

“The labour market outlook is very worrying. Without more fiscal stimulus, unemployment would rise to – and possibly remain at – an unacceptably high level, with damaging long-term consequences.”

RELATED: Scott Morrison offered Daniel Andrews help with hotel quarantine three times

The OECD warned that “localised lockdowns, border closures and new restrictions being imposed in some countries to tackle renewed virus outbreaks are likely to have contributed to the recent moderation of the recovery in some countries, such as Australia.”

“Put simply closed borders cost jobs and put the economy in a weaker position to recover,’’ Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

“The Morrison Government will continue to do what is necessary to cushion the blow and help all Australians get to the other side of the crisis.”

Labor’s treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said the grim outlook underlined the risk of slashing payments for the unemployed and the wage subsidy JobKeeper.

“During the deepest recession in almost a century and an escalating jobs crisis, it makes no sense for the Morrison Government to be withdrawing support without a comprehensive jobs plan to replace it,’’ he said.

“The OECD joins the RBA and prominent economists’ calls for more support, not less. Instead of a jobs plan, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg want to wind back JobKeeper, cut super, cut wages, freeze the pension, point the finger and shift the blame.

“This recession will be deeper and unemployment queues will be longer because the Morrison Government is leaving too many people behind in this first recession in three decades.”

A new analysis released today by the McKell Institute underlines the concerns.

It warns that the Morrison Government will rip $1.52 billion out of the economy every fortnight as a result of the reduced JobKeeper per fortnight payments.

By Christmas, this represents a $9.9 billion reduction in fiscal support than would have occurred if the Commonwealth maintained JobKeeper at its original rate.

An estimated one million part time workers will have their JobKeeper pay reduced from $1500 per fortnight to $750 per fortnight, while approximately 2,430,000 full-time workers will see their JobKeeper pay reduced to $1200.

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