Today’s jobs figures are a stark reminder that the decisions we make now will determine our ability to create the new jobs needed to power our recovery, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“We need to make the right decisions today to take advantage of our huge success in managing COVID-19. To avoid a protracted recession we’ll need to pull out all stops to create new jobs and better choices for all Australians.
“Economic data is more than just numbers in a spreadsheet, this is about people’s lives. Behind the figures in today’s labour force numbers are millions of Australians uncertain about their future.
“Almost one million Australians are unemployed and millions more are holding on with JobKeeper assistance. Another 100,000 young people have lost their jobs in May, taking the total to 330,000 since March.
“Every choice we make over the next six months must get businesses back open safely and create new jobs for Australians. The best way to deliver new jobs and secure work is with secure businesses that can invest and grow.
“Businesses are ready to work with governments, unions, employees and suppliers to remove the barriers and roadblocks that put a handbrake on growth.
“Together we can give Australians the best skills in the world, strengthen our workplace relations system so it works for employees and employers, and make it easier to invest and do business.
“The entire community has pulled together to meet this challenge and we’ll need that same commitment and co-operation to manage the way out of this pandemic.
“Australians simply can’t afford for us to waste the unprecedented level of co-operation we have achieved to date.”