Australia entered the COVID-19 pandemic in a position of strength.

  • In 2018-19, for the first time in 11 years, the budget was returned to balance.
  • Over six years, more than 1.5 million jobs had been created.
  • Australia had the lowest level of welfare dependency in 30 years (as at June 2019).

This pandemic has resulted in the most severe global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Across the world the equivalent of 600 million people lost their jobs.

In April 2020, more than one million Australians lost their jobs or saw their working hours reduced to zero.

In the June 2020 quarter, Australia’s economy contracted by 7%. This compares to around 11% falls in New Zealand, 14% in France and 20% in the UK.

The Morrison Government has committed unprecedented support to cushion the blow and help Australians remain in jobs. This has included:

  • JobKeeper – the largest support lifeline in history – which in its first phase supported over 3.8 million jobs and over 1 million businesses.
  • The Cashflow Boost, which has provided $35 billion in payments, helping over 800,000 small and medium businesses to stay afloat.
  • A 50% wage subsidy, supporting 180,000 existing apprentices and trainees and 100,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Up to 320,000 JobTrainer places for school leavers and job seekers to upskill.
  • The HomeBuilder program, supporting the residential construction industry.
  • The Coronavirus Supplement, providing extra support for those on JobSeeker.
  • $750 payments in April and July to millions of Australians, including pensioners. Additional payments of $250 in December and March 2021.
  • Additional support for industries that have been particularly affected, including aviation, agriculture, fisheries, tourism and travel and the arts.

Without JobKeeper and other measures to support our economy, Treasury estimates the unemployment rate would have been 5 percentage points higher.

Together, these actions to support the economy have saved 700,000 jobs according to the Reserve Bank.

Australia’s economy is now fighting back.

Real GDP increased by 3.3% in the September quarter and 3.1% in the December quarter. This is the first time since records began that GDP growth is above 3% for two consecutive quarters.

Australia’s performance on both the health and economic fronts is world leading.

In 2020, the UK economy contracted by 9.9%, Italy by 8.9%, France by 8.2%, Japan by 4.8% and the United States by 3.3%.

By contrast, Australia was only down 2.5%.

Over 9 months (from May 2020 to February 2021), over 876,400 jobs have been created.

In less than 12 months from when the recession began, there are now more Australians in jobs than there were before the pandemic.

Australia is one of nine countries to have a AAA credit rating from the three leading credit agencies.

The recession may technically be over, but the recovery has just begun.

The Morrison Government will continue to deliver on our economic recovery plan.

The JobMaker Hiring Credit will support nearly half a million young Australians in work.

Our record investment in skills and training will strengthen Australia’s workforce.

Our manufacturing plan will support the recovery and build our sovereign capability.

Tax incentives will help to unleash a wave of investment across the country.

And tax cuts will put more money into the pockets of 11 million hard working Australians and their families.

We are building the infrastructure we need for the future.

We are guaranteeing healthcare and the essential services Australians rely on.

We will do this by growing the economy, not increasing taxes.

Information current as at March 2021