More than 1,300 hopeful applicants have swarmed to apply for a job at a Boost Juice store in Melbourne, as mutual obligations for JobSeeker recipients make a return this week.
Mutual obligations require people receiving JobSeeker payments to apply for a certain number of jobs a month, and to accept ‘any offer of suitable paid work’.
These requirements were suspended, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but came back into force on August 4, for every state except Victoria.
Still, that didn’t stop 1,382 Melbourne candidates from apparently applying for a job at a Boost Juice store in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
The influx of applications has got people questioning what the jobs market might realistically look like elsewhere, and when mutual obligations come back into play in Melbourne, as COVID-19 continues to drive unemployment up.
…and that’s with mutual obligations still currently suspended in Victoria. It’s going to be an absolute shitshow when they’re reintroduced. It hasn’t set in yet that for most of the newly unemployed, without govt intervention, they’re going to be out of a job for many years.
— 🦠 cumdrop antifa Leftpool (@Leftpool9) August 6, 2020
This comes as 250,000 people are expected to lose jobs under Victoria’s new stage four COVID-19 restrictions.
Unemployment in Australia is expected to hit 10%, according to RBA forecasting, as the economic crisis forces struggling businesses to let employees go, or shut up shop altogether.
It’s thought the ‘real’ unemployment rate could be as high as 13% or more.
The skewed ratio of jobs to job-seekers could also cause a headache to those trying to hire at this time. I don’t envy the manager sifting through thousands of applications to find the best juicer for the job.
Earlier this week, the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union called on welfare recipients to embark on strike action, opposing the reintroduction of mutual obligation rules.
“We won’t accept those in power playing with the lives and wellbeing of 1.6 million people — and doing so in the middle of a global pandemic and economic crisis. It’s unsafe,” a union statement said.
AUWU is demanding the suspension of mutual obligations until at least the end of 2020.
“Unwaged, underemployed and insecure workers must not be forced to engage with job agencies — they fail to find us work at the best of times, let alone when the Treasurer is forecasting unemployment rising to 9.25 per cent by Christmas,” the statement said.
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