More than 3700 Territorians lost their jobs in April, causing the NT to plunge to its highest unemployment rate since 2007, with more expected by the end of June.
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 600,000 people Australia-wide lost their jobs in April, while the unemployment rate in the NT leaped to six per cent from 5.5 per cent the month before.
However, the Territory’s ability to contain the coronavirus better than other states could mean the NT is better placed to rebound quicker, the government said.
Resident employment in the Territory decreased by 2.8 per cent to 131,398 persons, compared to the previous month, the smallest decrease of all jurisdictions.
While the NT’s unemployment rate increased to 6.0 per cent in April, it remains the equal second lowest rate of all jurisdictions.
Other jurisdictions ranged from 4.2 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory to 7.2 per cent in South Australia.
Nationally, the unemployment rate sits at 6.2 per cent, with predictions that number could jump to 10 per cent later this year.
Treasurer Nicole Manison said she had confidence the tide was beginning to turn in the NT.
“I’m expecting our labour force figures are going to pick up quicker than the rest of the nation because we are opening up our economy quicker than the rest of the nation,” she said.
Earlier this week, Professor Rolf Gerritsen with CDU’s Northern Institute, told the NT Independent that future NT unemployment figures may not accurately reflect the state of the economy.
“The other number to watch is when we stop the border restrictions how many people leave,” he said. “When the Northern Territory has an economic downturn, employment figures go down because the unemployed leave, they go to bigger markets where they have family and friends.”