Concerning data from the ABS has shown that since 14 August 2021, there was a 10.5 per cent decline in payroll jobs in the ACT, the largest in the country.
This decline is in stark contrast to NSW, also in lockdown who saw a decline of just 1.9 per cent during the same period.
Canberra Liberals Leader and Shadow Treasurer Elizabeth Lee expressed concern about these stark numbers that highlight the need for the ACT Labor-Greens Government to provide all necessary support to local businesses coming out of the lockdown and beyond.
“This decline equates to 20,000 jobs in the ACT with building and construction employment also falling 12.8 per cent on pre-pandemic levels,” Ms Lee said.
“The significant fall in jobs during the lockdown necessitates a strong response from the Labor-Greens Government to support business.
“In this week’s budget we have seen no additional support on top of the 50 per cent Commonwealth-funded COVID-19 business grants.
“The increase of only 4.2 per cent in the infrastructure program spend over the next four years is simply an inadequate response to what may be a jobs crisis in the ACT.
“The Treasurer’s hyperbole about ‘turbo charging’ the economy is an attempt to create an illusion of replacing jobs that have been lost during the lockdown period,” Ms Lee concluded.
Shadow Minister for Jobs and Workplace Affairs said this is a major setback for the ACT Labor-Greens Government’s target of 250,000 jobs by 2025.
“We saw in this week’s budget there was nothing new to address this issue, the ACT Labor-Greens Government has no plan to grow the number of jobs in Canberra,” Mr Cain said.
“This Government should be promoting and supporting Canberra’s private sector, attracting and retaining skilled workers, fostering a strong culture of entrepreneurship, and undertaking a serious red tape reduction program,” Mr Cain concluded.