Previous post: 22,660 Dole Bludgers?
I will come back to this next and look at the JobSeeker numbers and why the supplement has actually disproportionately boosted Cairns and consequently why current media comments from the business community are just graceless nonsense.
This is NewStart/JobSeeker +Youth Allowance (other) recipients as a percentage of 15-64 population by Queensland SA4 regions.
This is taken from the Centrelink quarterly data from DSS which is currently updated to June 2020. The 15-64 age group has been selected as it covers the age group for eligibility. This isn’t perfect with increases to the Aged Pension eligibility age moving beyond 65. National data indicates something like 2.5% of JobSeeker recipients are in this gap between 64 and the current pension age.
I have muted many data series in the above graph for clarity. However the muted series predominantly at the bottom are all around Brisbane. I left highlighted Brisbane Inner City because if you looked at just percentage changes from pre-covid levels as often observed in media reports it would have been among the hardest hit when it is quite normal here because it has the largest Queensland share of the relevant age group. This is something I pointed out in my very first post on SA2 data for Cairns that if you look at it this way places like Brinsmead and Redlynch would be hardest hit when the reverse would be true.
Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast appear to have had the biggest relative increase in NewStart/JobSeeker numbers here from the pandemic. What should be obvious from the graph however is that while Cairns is up there it also started from a higher structural base. This is why Cairns has disproportionately benefitted from the JobSeeker supplement beyond cyclical factors.
Deloitte Access have done some research for ACOSS modelling increases in consumption and employment from the $225 per/week JobSeeker supplement: Estimating the economic impacts of lowering current levels of income support payments
I wont repeat the numbers as they are based on some assumptions which even a few months ago now are dated and compare the full supplement with to previous baseline. What matters is that it demonstrates just how huge the JobSeeker supplement has contributed to regions.
The NewStart/JobSeeker rate has been an issue for some time. Noted posts this week: Top economists want JobSeeker boosted by $100+ per week and tied to wages; New finding: boosting JobSeeker wouldn’t keep Australians away from paid work
But next maybe it’s worth a look at at some common myths about who is on NewStart/Jobkeeper related to our regions and why regional rates are consistently above urban SEQ.