Coronavirus: Centrelink applications increase by 300k in last month

In the past month, another 300,000 people joined the dole queues, pushing the total close to the number that had been expected by September.

Acting deputy secretary of Social Security Shane Bennett said 1.64 million people were on the JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments on May 22.

Numbers have doubled in two months since the lockdown began.

On, March 22, 812,000 people were receiving unemployment benefits. At the same point in April, the number was 1.346 million.

Now it is 1.64 million, with another 45,000 claims for unemployment benefits are still outstanding.

Of the 300,000 people to have joined the dole queues in the past month, 50,000 are on the Youth Allowance, figures inquiry chairwoman and Labor Senator Katy Gallagher described as "pretty staggering".

Centrelink queues on Woden in May. Picture: Karleen Minney

Centrelink queues on Woden in May. Picture: Karleen Minney

The government had forecast 1.7 million to be receiving unemployment benefits by September. Asked for an updated forecast, given numbers already closing in on 1.7 million, Mr Bennett said the department was yet to update forecasts for September, relying on Treasury for the data.

The Treasury has forecast an unemployment rate of 10 per cent unemployed by the end of June, double the 5 per cent unemployment in January.

To date, 6.174 million people have downloaded the mobile phone coronavirus tracking app, health officials told the inquiry. That's an extra one million people in four weeks.


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This story Dole queue numbers have doubled since beginning of lockdown first appeared on The Canberra Times.