.id Regional Modelling Tool – Jobseeker March – May 2020

In the latest enhancement to our community profiles (profile.id), there is a new page which looks at JobSeeker and Youth Allowance recipients within our Local Government Areas. You can now find and analyse JobSeeker statistics to provide extra insight into the socio-economic characteristics of each LGA – in particular, how those characteristics have changed with COVID-19.

JobSeeker is the new name for Newstart, (and prior to that JobSearch allowance) or more broadly unemployment benefits (and colloquially known as “the dole”). JobSeeker and Youth Allowance are government benefits paid for those looking for work, and are quite different to JobKeeper (a payment to businesses to enable them to continue paying staff during the downturn). This dataset has started to be updated monthly during the COVID-19 pandemic (Previously data was updated quarterly, 4 months after the reference quarter) as part of an ongoing government program to provide more timely statistics related to the pandemic.

You can see an estimate of any month’s JobSeeker recipients in the LGA, compared to any earlier month, which is selectable for the past 2 years from the menu. In this case, I’ve selected the latest month’s (May 2020) compared to March 2020, because the March-May two month period is when most of the job losses have occurred.


Looking at the Northern Tasmania Region, we see that the Region has 12,133 JobSeeker recipients in May, up by 3,917 since March – showing the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on employment in our region in these two months.

Within the region, we can see that the LGA with the highest percentage of people currently on JobSeeker is Break O’Day at 24.3% (that is almost 1 in 4 residents are on unemployment benefits) from a base of 16% in March 2020 – showing the largest rate of increase in JobSeeker recipients (290 people) over this period. This rate of increase (8.3%) is far higher than the Regional average (4.3%) and the State average (4.3%). George Town also has a high percentage of residents on Jobseeker (14.2% in March and 18.7% in May), but the increase suffered over the COVID-19 period has been consistent with average rates in the region and the State.
A common theme around Australia is that the highest rates of JobSeeker are found in disadvantaged places (consistently over time), but the largest increases are in those areas with a lot of employment in the hard-hit industries (tourism and accommodation/food services industries) due to COVID-19 lockdown. From this data we can see that residents in the Break O’Day area have suffered significant unemployment consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To view the .id data for yourself, go to; http://economy.id.com.au/northern-tasmania