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Employment Minister comments on ‘absolutely devastating’ job figures

Australia shed another 227,000 jobs in May, with unemployment rising to 7.1 per cent, the highest level since 2001.

The gloomy May employment figures bring the number of jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic to 838,000.

Young people have fared the worst, with youth unemployment rising two percent to 16.1 per cent in May.

A staggering 45 per cent of jobs lost last month were people under 25.

Federal Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator Michaelia Cash, said the industries that have been hit hardest, like hospitality, are those that employ a lot of young people.

“Unfortunately because of the nature of industries that have literally just shed jobs overnight … it has had a disproportionate effect not just on youth but also on women,” she told Tom Elliott.

Ms Cash praised the JobKeeper payment as “an absolute lifesaver” but said it was “devastating” that 838,000 Australians have lost their jobs in the past three months.

She said the federal government is “looking at all different types of policy options” for dealing with unemployment when JobKeeper ends in September.

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Image: Sam Mooy / Getty