withdrawing super
(Image: AAP/Dan Peled)

The first hard evidence of the impact on employment of the pandemic lockdown has been unveiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this morning in the jobs data for April.

Unemployment soared from 5.2% to 6.2% in the month in seasonally adjusted terms, with employment falling by 594,000. The participation rate -- which has been a strong point of the Australian jobs market for several years -- also fell dramatically, down 2.4 percentage points to 63.5%, a level it was last at in 2004.

According to the ABS, "had the increase in the number of people who were not in the labour force (489,900) been a further increase in unemployment (that is, if they had been actively looking for work and been available to work) then the number of unemployed people would have increased to around 1.3 million people, and an unemployment rate would have increased to around 9.6%".