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Senate inquiry hears there is no evidence that higher Jobseeker rate has been a disincentive for people looking for work 

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 1 Dec 2020

Labour market economist Professor Jeff Borland has told the senate inquiry looking into the JobSeeker COVID supplement rate that the higher rate of JobSeeker doesn’t impact on the rates of people seeking employment. 
Rather than relying on anecdotal claims that unemployed people aren’t looking for work because of the rates of the coronavirus supplement, Professor Borland has looked at the market figures which show there has been no decrease in the number of people moving from unemployment to employment once the economy started reopening again, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
Professor Borland’s research shows:

  • Vacancy rates have not returned to their rates prior to the pandemic; 
  • Increasing the JobSeeker Payment would not result in any significant financial disincentive for jobseekers to shift into employment;
  • The COVID‐19 JobKeeper Supplement has not affected the speed with which jobs are being filled or caused a large‐scale shortage of labour; and
  • The main drivers of labour supply in Australia since the onset of the pandemic have been macroeconomic conditions and direct effects of COVID‐19.

It’s outrageous that the Government have continued their ideological attacks on people on income support in the face of the worst recession of a generation. 
The claims that having an unemployment payment above the poverty line is a disincentive for people looking for work is just demonising people accessing the social safety net and its simply untrue. 
Professor Borland recently published Would a rise in JobSeeker affect incentives for paid work?

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Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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