JobSeeker payment: Understanding economic and policy trends affecting Commonwealth expenditure

By Parliamentary Budget Office

This report examines historical trends in JobSeeker payment expenditure and recipient demographics, the drivers of these trends, and the implications for Commonwealth Government expenditure on the JobSeeker payment over the medium term.

Its key findings include:

  • JobSeeker expenditure averages around six per cent of social security and welfare expenditure but can be a major source of fiscal pressure during times of economic crisis.
  • Historically the relationship between unemployment levels and benefits has been quite close, but the JobSeeker recipient population has changed with the typical recipients now older people rather than younger men.
  • The link between unemployment rates and JobSeeker payments is weakening for some groups.
  • Changes in the JobSeeker recipient population are partly driven by changes in eligibility requirements for other income support payments.
  • These trends will have implications for the medium-term outlook for the payment.

Download the report

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