Wealthy electorates with water views have suffered the sharpest rise in unemployment with the number of recipients on the dole quadrupling in some areas in two just months.
The national jobless rate last month climbed to 7.4 per cent, the highest level since November 1998 with almost one million people now officially without work for the first time ever, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Thursday.
Wentworth, in Sydney’s ritzy eastern suburbs, has taken a particularly big economic hit from the COVID-19 shutdowns, data from the Parliamentary Library showed.
The number of people receiving the JobSeeker unemployment benefit surged fourfold from 1,354 on March 20 – days before the coronavirus closures – to 5,688 on May 20, even after lockdowns had eased.
Wentworth, in Sydney’s ritzy eastern suburbs, has taken a particularly big economic hit from the COVID-19 shutdowns. The number of people receiving JobSeeker quadrupled from 1,354 on March 20 – days before the coronavirus closures – to 5,688 on May 20, even after lockdowns had eased
Across Sydney Harbour, former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott’s old Warringah electorate saw the number of JobSeeker recipients almost quadruple, from 1,234 to 4,814. Winter Olympian Zali Steggall, an independent MP, holds the seat which takes in Manly beach (pictured) and the millionaire mansions suburb of Mosman
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s old electorate, now held by Australia’s former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, takes in Bondi beach and the exclusive, harbour-side millionaires’ enclaves of Vaucluse and Point Piper.
Where JobSeeker numbers have surged
New South Wales
Wentworth, Sydney’s east (Liberal): 1,354 on March 20 to 5,688 on May 20
Warringah, Sydney’s Northern Beaches and lower north shore (Independent): 1,234 to 4,814
North Sydney, Sydney’s lower north shore (Liberal): 1,214 to 4,785
Bradfield, Sydney’s upper north shore (Liberal): 1,143 to 4,331
Cook, Sydney’s Sutherland Shire (Liberal): 1,871 to 5,568
Higgins, Melbourne’s south-east (Liberal): 2,040 to 6,360
Kooyong, Melbourne’s south-east (Liberal): 1,370 to 4,842
Goldstein, Melbourne’s south-east (Liberal): 1,747 to 5,108
Moncrieff, Gold Coast (Liberal): 6,484 to 15,037
McPherson, Gold Coast (Liberal): 4,487 to 11,598
Source: Parliamentary Library on JobSeeker numbers on March 20, 2020 and May 20, 2020
Across Sydney Harbour, former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott’s old Warringah electorate saw the number of JobSeeker recipients almost quadruple, from 1,234 to 4,814.
Winter Olympian Zali Steggall, an independent MP, holds the seat which takes in Manly beach and the millionaire mansions suburb of Mosman.
Neighbouring North Sydney, on the northern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, saw the number of JobSeeker recipients surge from 1,214 to 4,785 in an area that covers the Middle Harbour suburbs of Northbridge and Cremorne.
In the neighbouring Sydney north shore electorate of Bradfield, held by Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, JobSeeker numbers more than tripled from 1,143 to 4,331.
Mr Fletcher’s seat covers parts of Chatswood and includes upmarket suburbs from Killara and Lindfield to Turramurra and Wahroonga.
The neighbouring Sydney Northern Beaches electorate of Mackellar, which takes in exclusive Palm Beach, saw its JobSeeker tally also almost triple from 1,352 to 5,093.
On the other side of Sydney in the Sutherland Shire, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Cook electorate saw the number of JobSeeker recipients almost triple from 1,871 to 5,568.
Melbourne wasn’t immune either with the number unemployed in Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s electorate of Kooyong, covering the upmarket suburbs of Kew and Hawthorn in the city’s south-east, more than tripling from 1,370 to 4,842.
In neighbouring Higgins, taking in the millionaire mansion suburb of Toorak, the number on JobSeeker also more than tripled from 2,040 to 6,360 in just two months.
Unemployment almost tripled too in the nearby Port Phillip Bay electorate of Goldstein, covering Brighton, with JobSeeker number surging from 1,747 to 5,108.
The Gold Coast saw a big increase in unemployment recipients with the Liberal-held Moncrieff electorate, taking in Surfers Paradise (pictured on July 15, 2020), seeing JobSeeker numbers more than double from 6,484 to 15,037
The tourism-dependent Gold Coast suffered a big increase in unemployment recipients with the Liberal-held Moncrieff electorate, taking in Surfers Paradise, seeing JobSeeker numbers more than double from 6,484 to 15,037.
In the neighbouring seat of McPherson, covering Coolangatta, the tally of JobSeeker recipients also more than doubled from 4,487 to 11,598.
On April 24, 1.346million Australians were on either JobSeeker or the Youth Allowance but by May 22, that had climbed to 1.641million, Department of Social Services data showed.
Shane Bennett, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Social Services, last month confirmed another 300,000 people went on welfare in just four weeks.
Higgins, taking in the millionaire mansion suburb of Toorak (pictured), saw the number on JobSeeker more than tripled from 2,040 to 6,360 in just two months
The numbers included those on the old Newstart allowance for the unemployed, which since March has been known as JobSeeker, along with sickness and bereavement benefit recipients.
Mr Bennett confirmed the number of Australians on benefits was growing at a faster pace than anticipated, with the department not anticipating 1.7million JobSeeker recipients until September.
Australia’s unemployment rate in May soared to a 19-year high of 7.1 per cent as
227,700 people lost their job or gave up looking for one
The ranks of the unemployed swelled to 927,600 – the highest number since December 1993.