The Liberal Nationals are urging the State Government to adopt a jobs target that would see Victorians who lost their jobs to the COVID-19 restrictions back to work and back in business.

Coronavirus has devastated Victoria’s economy, with thousands of small businesses forced to shut and hundreds of thousands of jobs forecast to be lost.

The Liberal Nationals are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to set a target to get the employment rate back to pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of 2021.

In February 2020 prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the unemployment rate in Victoria was 5.3 per cent, with 192,000 people unemployed (ABS statistics). 

Even this level saw Victoria’s unemployment above the national average.

With Victoria’s harsh COVID-19 restrictions now being slowly relaxed, it’s vital Victoria has a plan in place to create jobs and rebuild our economy.

According to weekly payroll jobs data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Victoria’s unemployment spike is the worst in the nation between 14 March and 18 April, with the number of jobs down by 8.6 per cent – the worst in the nation. 

The Andrews Government has admitted that Victoria’s unemployment rate could increase to 11 per cent this year which would see Victorian unemployment more than double and 400,000 Victorians unemployed.

On top of the hundreds of thousands appearing on the official unemployment rate, many more will face loss of income, underemployment or a cut in hours.

Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:

“The Andrews Government must set a clear jobs target to get Victorians back to work.

“The Liberal Nationals believe our unemployment should return to pre-pandemic levels by no later than the end of 2021.

“Every Victorian who has lost their job as a result of this pandemic deserves to know that the State Government has a comprehensive plan to get them back to work.

“Now is the time to take bold action to turn Victoria’s job crisis around.

“Victorians need to know that there is a plan in place to get them back to work and back in business.”

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh:

“Every Victorian who has lost their job was, only a few months ago, working and financially contributing to our shared prosperity.

“Labor has no plan to ensure Victoria leads the country for an economic and jobs recovery.

“Victoria’s unemployment rate could double with 400,000 Victorians out of work, a target must be set to ensure a jobs-led recovery.”