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Australian businesses shed 800,000 jobs in the three weeks after the introduction of social distancing laws with warnings from the Reserve Bank that unemployment will climb as the nation faces its deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
As a year's worth of people applied for unemployment benefits in a single month, special data collated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed the human toll of the measures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Between March 14, the day before outside gatherings of more than 500 people were barred, and April 4 the nation's employers lost six per cent of their workers.
The biggest hit has been to the accommodation and food services sector with almost 26 per cent of jobs, or more than 240,000 positions, disappearing.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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