Covid-19 Victoria: Employment rates in Melbourne plunge to dire levels amid lockdown

Rhiannon TuffieldNCA NewsWire
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says some industries still won’t open until November. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw
Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews says some industries still won’t open until November. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia

The ABS has released dire monthly job figures for Victoria, with Melbourne reporting some of the highest unemployment rates in its history.

The new data shows serous falls in employment through September, with 108,600 less Victorians at work in Greater Melbourne – a 4 per cent fall in the last month.

The largest metropolitan percentage falls were in Melbourne’s north, inner east, outer east, and southeast.

Regional Victoria recorded a fall of 1.3 per cent in the last month, with around 9500 people losing their job. Warrnambool, South West Victoria and Gippsland were hit the hardest.

JOBLESS FIGURES
Camera IconVictoria recorded dire employment statistics for the month of September. NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

It is in stark contrast to NSW, with Sydney reporting an employment fall of just 0.5 per cent and country NSW a 0.7 per cent rise in employment.

In Brisbane employment was up by 0.8 per cent.

Victorian shadow treasurer David Davis attributed the disappointing falls in employment to the harsh lockdowns imposed on the state that he said had cost “many Victorians” their jobs.

“The tough lockdowns imposed by Daniel Andrews have hurt business … small businesses have been hit for six by Andrews with tougher restrictions than put in place in other states like NSW,” he said.

JOBLESS FIGURES
Camera IconThe statistics were released following months of lockdown. NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

Months of lockdowns across Melbourne and regional Victoria closed multiple industries and caused many Victorians to lose casual, full and part-time work.

With the state now out of lockdown and hospitality and personal care back, some industries still remain shut, including the struggling retail and entertainment sectors.

Both sectors will not open until the state reaches 80 per cent double vaccinations, which is anticipated to happen by November 5.

But Mr Davis said the rules were unfair and continued to keep vulnerable Victorians out of work.

“We must open up quickly and safely. We don’t need nasty extra restrictions, like for retail, with it still slammed shut,” he said.

“Why is retail not opening? Labor’s rules are arbitrary, unfair and ultimately cost jobs as we can see in these figures. Labor has not allowed the release of the secret health advice but is prepared to point to this invisible advice as the reason for the toughness of the lockdowns.”

COVID-19 PRESSER
Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews says some industries still won’t open until November. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia

The events industry was dealt another blow earlier this week after the government’s road map falsely declared the sector could reopen on Thursday, along with the hospitality and personal care industries.

The road map, which was quickly updated, stated that entertainment venues could reopen at 70 per cent double dose, with 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors.

The error caused significant confusion among the entertainment industry, which called the mistake a devastating blow for an already struggling industry.

Speaking to reporters this week, Mr Andrews said it had been a “typo” despite public documents usually being subject to a tough, multi-level approvals process before being released to the public.

“That was corrected and, again, I apologise if there’s any sense that a sector has been included that shouldn’t have been – but it does not include entertainment venues,” Mr Andrews said.

“Entertainment venues will be covered by 80 per cent, and again I’ll just stress that is not this Thursday, not the Sunday straight thereafter but the Sunday after that, probably.”

rhiannon.tuffield@news.com.au

Originally published as Covid-19 Victoria: Employment rates in Melbourne plunge to dire levels amid lockdown

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