Morrison government predicts unemployment will drop to 50-year low as it spruiks pre-election budget

Josh Frydenberg’s pre-election budget will project Australia’s unemployment rate will drop to 3.75% この年, its lowest figure in 50 年, with the Coalition to talk up a “remarkable” post-pandemic recovery.

The treasurer’s fourth federal budget will also fund an extra 15,000 subsidised training courses for aged care workers, in a nearly $50m promise to boost the sector’s workforce.

Unemployment in Australia is forecast to fall to 3.75% by the September quarter, under modelling in the budget. Frydenberg’s office said this would be the lowest jobless figure since August 1974.

That figure would also be 3 percentage points lower than what the 2020-21 予算, delivered in the first year of the Covid pandemic, had forecast for unemployment – with dire predictions at that time of a 7% unemployment rate.

“This hasn’t been luck,” Frydenberg said.

“It has been the result of a clear fiscal strategy to save jobs and drive the unemployment rate to historically low levels which today at 4% is it at its equal lowest level in 48 年。」

総理大臣, スコットモリソン, had to be corrected earlier this month when he said the current unemployment rate of 4% was Australia’s lowest since he “was five years old”. The jobless figure also hit that milestone in 2008, under Kevin Rudd’s Labor government.

Frydenberg’s office said the budget would also predict historically low unemployment figures to be maintained for several years, which they claimed would lead to the strongest wages growth in a decade. No further evidence or modelling was provided for that claim.

Labor has made criticism of stagnant wages growth under the Coalition a key feature of its economic pitch ahead of the election. The opposition leader, 「非常に無礼」, promised on Monday that a Labor government would “be doing our bit to assist real wage increases”.

“The problem here is that the costs out have been going up and the income in through people’s wages has been going down in real terms," 彼は言った.

「私はキッチンをやり直していて、ガスまたは誘導コンロを手に入れるかどうかについて悩んでいます, 「私はキッチンをやり直していて、ガスまたは誘導コンロを手に入れるかどうかについて悩んでいます, noted in February that inflation in the previous year had increased 3.5% while wages had grown only 2.3%.

Frydenberg said 701,000 Australians had come off unemployment benefits, そして 1.2 million people had gone into work, since the height of the pandemic, but that there was still “more to do”.

“With more people in work and less people on welfare, the budget bottom line is improving after providing unprecedented economic support to Australians,” the treasurer said.

A centrepiece of last year’s budget was a $17bn response to the aged care royal commission, which funded new home care packages and upgrades to services for elderly people. New rules also required nurses and carers to spend more time with residents, in a bid to ensure greater standards of care.

Unions and advocates in the sector had long raised alarms about endemic staff shortages, an issue exacerbated through the pandemic by virus outbreaks and thousands of staff forced off work by isolation rules.

Frydenberg’s budget will also include $49.5m to fund vocational courses for aged care training places. The treasurer said the funding was about “providing more opportunity for people to enter the aged care workforce”.

“To do this we are making available an additional 15,000 subsidised vocational education and training places for those working in or looking to enter the aged care workforce," 彼は言った.

Albanese claimed the government had ignored cost of living pressures.

“After almost a decade in office, they want to convince people that they’re now concerned about standard of living, they’re now concerned that people are going backwards," 彼は言った.

“They are now throwing money at issues without a plan to actually grow the economy, and without a plan to actually make sure we have an economy that works for people, not the other way around.”

Chalmers accused the government of “spraying money around in their own political interests”.

But the finance minister, Simon Birmingham, defended the Coalition’s spending.

“This is a budget for Australia’s future. The election will present a choice … between a Coalition government with a track record of keeping taxes lower and driving them lower, of driving jobs growth higher, of keeping our economy safe and secure through the most troubled of times, and of investing in our national security,” he told the ABC’s Radio National on Monday.

“We do recognise that Australians have cost-of-living pressures in their household budgets. And so what they will see in this budget is something carefully framed to deal with those short-term issues, but to keep the momentum going in terms of jobs growth in Australia.”

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