South Australia continues to lead the nation for its strong jobs rebound since the depths of the pandemic, as leading industry groups have thrown their support behind the Marshall Government’s new $100 million Business Support Package and assistance for regional workers.
Total employee jobs in SA increased by a nation-leading 15 per cent (equal with WA) since the COVID low point of mid-April 18 last year, according to ABS Single Touch Payroll Data – for the fortnight ending 3 July 2021 and, therefore, before the state’s lockdown.
South Australia’s merchandise exports have also reached a new record high, with the latest data for the 12 months to June showing $12.8 billion worth of South Australian goods were exported, up 15 per cent.
“While the single touch payroll data was prior to the state’s lockdown, we’ve seen consistently strong results over several months now from these results – with SA either leading the nation, or being very close to it – which is a positive sign as we continue to chart our way through the pandemic,” said Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“These figures also demonstrate the importance of the Government’s record $4 billion economic stimulus package, which included significant grants and programs to save as many jobs and businesses as possible as we turbo-charge our ongoing economic recovery from COVID. Our new Business Support Package, announced this week, is a continuation of that effort and resolve.”
It comes as leading industry leaders have welcomed the State Government’s Business Support Package, worth about $100 million, which will assist an estimated 50,000 eligible SMEs across the state – from gyms, hairdressers and nail salons to restaurants, cafes and hotels – affected by the 7-day lockdown.
The Property Council of Australia (SA) has described the stimulus as a ‘shot in the arm’ for small businesses across the state, while Business SA has welcomed the $3,000 emergency cash grant (or $1,000 for eligible businesses who don’t employ staff) – as well as matched income support payments for workers in regional SA.
Business SA Chief Executive Martin Haese said: “It’s early days, but these immediate relief measures will help many business owners cover some of the initial direct costs associated with the current lockdown.”
Property Council of Australia SA Executive Director Daniel Gannon said: “The State Government’s $100 million stimulus is a shot in the arm for small businesses across South Australia. It is also heartening to see the State Government match Federal support for those outside the Commonwealth declared hotspots.”
Westpac Group CEO Peter King also welcomed the State’s financial relief package.