Job Keepers and Job Seekers: How many workers will lose and how many will gain?

In response to the predicted job losses and business closures brought on by responses to COVID-19, the government has announced an unprecedented Job Keeper package at a cost of $130 billion. The package is expected to reach more than 6 million workers over the next six months and will be backdated to the 1st March, with payments expected to flow through to businesses from the 1st May.

The value of this package represents almost half of the entire wage bill ($286bn) of these workers over the six month period, at around 6.9% of annual GDP.

Overall the Job Keeper package will help many businesses to stay afloat and workers to stay attached to their employers as we move through the crisis.

A number of questions and issues are nevertheless raised in relation to the implementation, impact and consequences of the Job Keeper payment. We discuss these in this research brief and present modifications of the Job Keeper payment that would see a fairer outcome between part-time and full-time workers.