The devastating impacts of Australia’s economic crisis are clear for all to see, but many in the welfare sector believe the worst is yet to come, reports Fred Fuentes.
Unemployment and hunger have risen sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic, with long lines at food banks and families going without enough food, writes Barry Sheppard.
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) campaign coordinator Pas Forgione outlined why a campaign to “Raise the rate” of the Newstart unemployment benefit is desperately needed, at a June 15 community forum in Sydney’s west.
Life is about to get a lot tougher for 700,000 workers and their dependents when the penalty rate cuts hit on July 1. It is also the day politicians will get a 2% pay rise.
Full and part-time workers in the retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy industries are the first to be hit. The ACTU calculated that casuals in the pharmacy industry will face an annual cut of up to $6000 as the result of a February ruling by the misnamed Fair Work Commission.
There are about 13 million people in the Australian workforce. According to Roy Morgan Research, in October a total of 2.5 million Australians, or 19% of the workforce, were either unemployed (1,188,000) or under-employed (1,266,000). This is up 256,000 from October 2015.
Job agencies are the government-funded organisations tasked with helping unemployed people find work.
There is growing evidence suggesting this “help” consists of the following:
As part of this year's Anti-Poverty Week, a conference in South Australia A looked at how a lack of jobs is changing the nature of unemployment into an increasingly long-term phenomenon.