Surprising new data from the Federal Government shows that far fewer people are relying on JobKeeper than first feared and budgeted for.
The latest figures suggest nearly 450,000 fewer businesses qualified for the wage subsidy in October than September, meaning the number of workers receiving the payments fell from 3.6 million to 1.5 million in less than two months.
That’s far less than the government’s forecast in the October federal budget that 2.2 million workers would still need the subsidy at the end of this year due to the coronavirus recession.
“The lower-than-forecast take-up of the JobKeeper Payment extension in October is further evidence that Australia’s recovery from this once-in-a-century pandemic is well underway,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a statement.
The JobKeeper supplement fell from $1500 to $1200 a fortnight at the end of September and is due to fall to $1000 from January to March, when the scheme is scheduled to end.
Businesses must have suffered a fall in turnover of 30 per cent compared to a similar time to remain eligible for the payments.
The Federal Government has also published the latest unemployment figues, saying the number of Australians without a job fell from 9.3 per cent in September to 7.4 per cent in October.
“While there is still a long road ahead, these are promising signs that our economic recovery is well under way,” Mr Frydenberg added