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‘We cannot afford this’: Minister demands open borders as unemployment rises

Employment figures released today show a stark rise in joblessness, with 835,000 Australians losing their jobs since March.

The unemployment rate has jumped from 6.4 per cent to 7.1 per cent, a figure Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described as devastating, but not surprising.

Furthermore, a fifth of the workforce is either out of work or underemployed, working fewer hours than they had before COVID-19.

Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash told Mark Levy the situation is especially disheartening considering Australia had achieved record workforce participation before the pandemic.

She urged states to lift their remaining border restrictions.

“It is now time, Mark, states and territories declare your hand: open your borders.

“We need to get businesses back into business and Australians back into jobs.

“We cannot afford this as a nation.”

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