Huge drop in JobKeeper numbers as recession ends
The number of Queenslanders on the JobKeeper wage subsidy has dropped by about two-thirds since July, as new figures out today will confirm Australia is out of recession.
National accounts figures to be released today are widely predicted to show economic growth of 2.5 per cent, after a record drop in the previous quarter.
It comes as the Reserve Bank kept interest rates at a record low 0.1 per cent.
There were 670,000 Queensland workers on JobKeeper in July at the height of the worst recession since the great depression.
But as of November it has dropped to 218,328 people, new Treasury data reveals.
It is a drop of about 67 per cent, compared to the national drop in JobKeeper assisted employees of about 60 per cent. The Reserve Bank of Australia boss Philip Lowe said the nation's economic recovery so far had been "better than expected".
"This is good news, but the recovery is still expected to be uneven and drawn out and it remains dependent on significant policy support," Dr Lowe said.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Australian economy had been resilient in the face of a "once in 100 year pandemic", and that JobKeeper had been a lifeline to many businesses.
"This is helping to create jobs across the economy, with 178,000 jobs coming back last month," he said.
"We know our initiatives like JobKeeper, according to the RBA, have helped save at least 700,000 jobs.
"We will continue to see that Australia's economic recovery is under way."
But Opposition treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said any reports the recession is over would be cold comfort for those struggling with unemployment or reduced hours.
"Morrison and Frydenberg shouldn't be congratulating themselves while Australians are still hurting, jobless queues are still getting longer, and with ongoing challenges around underemployment," he said.
"A rebound in GDP that follows the deepest quarterly contraction on record is hardly a sign of strength, particularly when Australia still faces substantial challenges in the labour market."
Commonwealth Bank economist Gareth Aird said he expected the national accounts on Wednesday to show 2.5 per cent growth, after the seven per cent fall in June.
"The economic recovery is now well underway and the domestic data over recent months has generally surprised to the upside," he said.
Originally published as Huge drop in JobKeeper numbers as recession ends