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Payroll data will update picture on jobs

A slower rate of job losses through the back half of April is expected to show up in new payroll data.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will on Tuesday release details of jobs and wages from tax office payroll data for the last two weeks of April.

Economists expect this to show further job and wage losses on the back of a record 7.5 per cent drop in jobs and 8.2 per cent fall in wages for the first fortnight of April.

That April data showed the crisis was more widespread than policymakers expected, Westpac chief economist Bill Evans says.

But ABS data released on Monday offered a glimmer of hope.

The third survey of how households are coping with coronavirus showed a small uptick in the number of people in work in early May compared with April, and a drop in those who had jobs but weren’t doing any paid hours.

Treasury expects the jobless rate to peak at 10 per cent in June.

The Reserve Bank’s most recent monetary statement forecast it would still be at 7.5 per cent by the end of next year.

The central bank’s May meeting minutes, to be released on Tuesday, are expected to echo the sentiments in this statement.

Already, nearly 600,000 people have lost work between March and April, the biggest monthly fall in employment on record.

Another 6.1 million are receiving the government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy.

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