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(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

We were warned. The fiscal cliff has been much discussed, now it is here. With the release of the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data on wages and jobs -- high frequency data that the ABS began to compile only during the pandemic -- we can see its effect. Jobs are falling and wages too.

As September ended, Australia was finally getting on top of the virus. Victoria had finally beaten back its monstrous second wave and the prospect of a normal Christmas began to dawn. Borders might be able to be opened. You might have thought these positive omens would cause positive effects in the labour market. 

Instead we see the reverse. As the next chart shows, the start of October marked a sharp fall in both wages and jobs.