We still don’t know what exactly is going to happen with JobKeeper, but we do know that it can’t continue in its current form for everyone who is currently receiving it. Unemployment is going to be a huge problem, and come September, there are going to be thousands of people looking for a job at the same time.
That’s why we urge people to start looking for jobs now, if they haven’t already.
COSBOA is hearing from some of its industry association members that small businesses in certain industries are actually struggling to fill some casual and part-time roles at the moment.
This could be because people are content with the JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments that they’re receiving and don’t feel motivated to look for more work. Many people may not be aware that as long as they maintain employment with their JobKeeper-eligible employer, they can look for work elsewhere and earn more income.
It could also be because many of the people who are unemployed right now have never been unemployed before and don’t know that they can look for a certain amount of part-time or casual work and still continue receiving JobSeeker payments.
Or maybe people are simply feeling grim about their chances of getting a job.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, said “the message we want to get out is the earlier you start looking for a job, the better off you’ll be at the end of September. There are still some jobs available right now but there will be a lot of competition once everyone starts applying for them at the same time, maybe even all on the same day. If you start looking now you can avoid being part of that competition.”
“There are small businesses out there that need staff, including service stations, cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels. Not every business out there is losing money – some are doing well but many can’t find the staff they need.”
COSBOA’s position is that, going forward, JobSeeker should be more than the old NewStart rate by at least $100 a week but preferably by $200. We want people to be in the right headspace to look for a job or get training and they won’t be if they’re worrying about basic living expenses.
We know that the vast majority of people would prefer to be employed, so this message is for them: don’t wait until the end of September – start looking now.
See here for the ATO’s FAQs for employees about JobKeeper.
See here for Services Australia’s FAQs about JobSeeker.