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Australia expects unemployment to peak near 10% after COVID-19 shutdowns

Australia expects unemployment to peak near 10% after COVID-19 shutdowns

Australian authorities imposed strict and sweeping new measures to control a growing coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne. (Photo: AFP/William WEST)

SYDNEY: Unemployment in Australia will peak at about 10 per cent as a result of restrictions designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday (Aug 6).

Australia previously saw unemployment hitting a high of 9.25 per cent this year. But after Victoria, the country's second-most populous state, ordered a six-week lockdown around Melbourne, unemployment will peak at about 10 per cent, Morrison said.

READ: Australia records its deadliest day of COVID-19 pandemic

READ: Australia's Queensland shuts state border to stem COVID-19 second wave

The figure would climb when the number of people receiving the government's wage subsidy scheme were counted.

The effective rate of unemployment was estimated to climb to more than 13 per cent after previously expecting a high of around 11 per cent.

"That is very troubling but it is not unexpected," Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

"These measures will have a very significant cost, and it will impact the recovery path." 

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Source: Reuters/ic


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