Payroll jobs down as lockdown hits small business

The latest payroll jobs figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the effect Daniel Andrews’ Victoria-wide five-day lockdown had on employment, impacting mum and dad small businesses the hardest.

For the two week period between 30 January to 13 February, payroll jobs in Victoria fell 0.4 per cent. Victoria was one of only two states to suffer a fall in payroll jobs over these two weeks, the other being Western Australia which was also locked-down during part of this period.

All other states and territories in Australia enjoyed a rise in payroll jobs during this time.

Victorian small businesses bore the brunt of this loss of jobs associated with the lockdown, with payroll jobs in businesses with under 20 employees down 2.4 per cent.

Overall since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still small and medium businesses that have suffered the most, with Victorian businesses employing fewer than 200 employees, shedding jobs at over twice the rate as businesses with 200 employees or more over that time.

This report comes on the same day it was confirmed that 50 Victorian businesses went into liquidation in February, which was double the number for the previous month. Seven more Victorian businesses went into voluntary administration.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Today’s payroll jobs figures clearly demonstrate the devasting effect Daniel Andrews’ sudden five-day lockdown had on Victoria and particularly Victorian small businesses.

“We saw the result the two lockdowns last year had on small businesses, and just as many small businesses were starting to recover, another lockdown by Daniel Andrews has again hit them for six.

“Struggling small businesses need support in order to get back to work, but Daniel Andrews and Labor have sadly failed to provide the support that is needed.

“Small businesses also need certainty, and that is why the Liberal Nationals opposed a blank-cheque nine-month extension to the State of Emergency. With that legislation passed, small businesses will be worried about another snap lockdown from Daniel Andrews for the rest of 2021.

“Only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to provide small businesses support and certainty so they can get Back to Work and Back in Business.”

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