May 19, 2020 / 2:01 AM / 13 days ago

Australian job losses slowing, wages start to recover: ABS

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian job losses caused by coronavirus lockdowns slowed in the last couple of weeks while wages paid ticked higher as government support programs kicked in, data showed on Tuesday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimated payroll employment had fallen by 7.3% in the whole seven-week period from March 14 to May 2. That compared to a 7.1% dive in the period from March 14 to April 18.

Jobs declined 1.1% in the week to May 2, after a 0.9% increase the previous week.

There was even better news on wages which rose 0.9% in the week to May 2, after a 0.5% gain the week before. Total wages paid were now estimated to have fallen 5.4% between mid-March and early May, compared to a drop of 8.2% between mid-March and mid-April.

“The latest data shows a further slowing in the fall in COVID-19 job losses between mid-April and early May,” said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS.

Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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