Prior to last years Federal Election on 21 May 2022, Jobs Australia sought commitment from all political parties and independent candidates to consider key priorities as previously distributed to Members. The first full Budget of this Federal Government is a good opportunity to track progress. As a background, the summary of some key overall economic forecasts from the Budget, include:

o Budget surplus of $4.2 billion in 2022/23

o Deficit of $13.9 billion in 2023/24

o Economic growth to fall to 1.5 per cent in 2023/24

o Unemployment rate to increase from 3.5% to 4.25% in 2023/24 and 4.5% in 2024/25. This equates to an extra 150,000 people unemployed

o Inflation as measured by CPI to be 3.25 per cent in 2023/24

o Wages to rise by four per cent in 2023/24

The government views inflation as the biggest threat to our economy and has prioritised fighting inflation. To lower inflation requires a lowering of demand for goods and services. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is using increased interest rates to lower demand. A direct consequence of lower demand for goods and services is higher unemployment.