One in two Australian workers will soon have their jobs subsidised by the federal government in a bid to prevent a prolonged coronavirus recession.

COVID-19 restrictions have already shut down more than 5,100 gyms and 6,300 pubs, and forced more than 43,000 cafes and restaurants to become takeaway joints to legally operate.

Conservatively, more than 250,000 small businesses that provide services have had to retrench their staff. 

Economists are expecting the shutdown of non-essential services to cause one million workers to lose their jobs in coming months, pushing the jobless rate to the highest double-digit levels since the 1930s Great Depression.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have responded by unveiling a third stimulus package, worth $130billion, to provide a flat payment of $1,500 a fortnight to six million workers so their bosses keep them on.

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One in two Australian workers will soon have their jobs subsidised by the federal government in a bid to prevent a prolonged coronavirus recession. Pictured is an empty cafe at Fremantle in Perth on March 28, 2020

One in two Australian workers will soon have their jobs subsidised by the federal government in a bid to prevent a prolonged coronavirus recession. Pictured is an empty cafe at Fremantle in Perth on March 28, 2020 

In the early weeks of the outbreak in February, more than 13million Australians had a job but the ranks of the employed are expected to dwindle to 12million as one million people lost their job.

That would create a situation where one in two Australian workers will soon have their wages propped by the Jobkeeper payment.

Australia’s biggest services employers before COVID-19

Retail traders: 132,835 (this includes 140 department stores)

Accommodation and food services: 95,301 (this includes 43,582 cafes and restaurants; and 12,749 accommodation providers)

Supermarket and grocery stores: 8,940 

Pub, taverns and bars: 6,294

Gyms, fitness centres: 5,136 

Hospitality clubs: 2,933

Amusement parks: 1,050 

Air transport: 1,319

Airport operations, air transport support: 702 

Casino operations: 26 

Employers will be receiving 70 per cent of Australia’s $57,200 median wage, from the first week of May, to give to their staff.

That’s on the proviso their turnover in February and March had fallen by 30 per cent or more compared with the same month in 2019.

As of 9am AEDT, 124,150 businesses have registered for the Jobkeeper program, Treasury figures showed. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world economy, Australia was home to more than 2.3million businesses spread over 500 industries.

Retail shops were the biggest employer, with 132,835 businesses operating in the 2018-19 financial year, an analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data by CommSec showed. 

Department store Myer has this week stood down 10,000 staff without pay. 

The other services category was the next bigger employer, with 102,053 businesses. 

Accommodation and food services were the second biggest employer with 95,301 traders, including 43,582 cafes and restaurants.

Economists are expecting the shutdown of non-essential services to cause one million workers to lose their jobs in coming months, pushing the jobless rate to the highest double-digit levels since the 1930s Great Depression. Before COVID-19, bars (Notting Hill pub in Melbourne pictured) were a big employer with 6,294 of them operating

Economists are expecting the shutdown of non-essential services to cause one million workers to lose their jobs in coming months, pushing the jobless rate to the highest double-digit levels since the 1930s Great Depression. Before COVID-19, bars (Notting Hill pub in Melbourne pictured) were a big employer with 6,294 of them operating

They were still a bigger employer than gyms and fitness centres, with 5,136 businesses operating. Pictured is the ClimbFit gym in Sydney on March 26, 2020

They were still a bigger employer than gyms and fitness centres, with 5,136 businesses operating. Pictured is the ClimbFit gym in Sydney on March 26, 2020

Drinking dens employed a smaller number with 6,294 pubs, taverns and bars.

They were still a bigger employer than gyms and fitness centres, with 5,136 businesses operating. 

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 4,559

New South Wales: 2,032

Victoria: 917

Queensland: 743

Western Australia: 364

South Australia: 337

Australian Capital Territory: 80

Tasmania: 69

Northern Territory: 15

TOTAL CASES:  4,559

RECOVERED: 312

DEAD: 19

Last week, the federal government ordered the immediate shutdown of pubs, clubs, dine-in restaurants and gyms in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

As the first cases of coronavirus were revealed in Australia, the jobless rate stood at 5.1 per cent in February.

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans is expecting the jobless rate to more than double to 11.1 per cent by June.

This would see 814,000 lose their jobs as unemployment surged to the highest level since late 1992 in the aftermath of the last recession.

Mr Evans expected the jobless rate to peak at 13 per cent later this year – the highest since 1932 – as more than one million Australians lost their job, on top of the 699,100 who were without work in February.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver is forecasting a 15 per cent jobless rate, a situation that would see another 1.3million people lose their job.

ANZ’s former chief economist Warren Hogan, who is now at the University of Technology, Sydney is forecasting a 17 per cent jobless rate, which would see 1.6million join the Centrelink queue as 2.3million Australians searched for work. 

Retail shops were the biggest employer, with 132,835 businesses operating in the 2018-19 financial year, an analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data by CommSec showed. Pictured is a Myer store after 10,000 staff were stood down without pay this week

Retail shops were the biggest employer, with 132,835 businesses operating in the 2018-19 financial year, an analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data by CommSec showed. Pictured is a Myer store after 10,000 staff were stood down without pay this week 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have responded by unveiling a third stimulus package, worth $130billion, to provide a flat payment of $1,500 a fortnight to six million workers so their bosses keep them on. Pictured is the Notting Hill Pub in Melbourne

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have responded by unveiling a third stimulus package, worth $130billion, to provide a flat payment of $1,500 a fortnight to six million workers so their bosses keep them on. Pictured is the Notting Hill Pub in Melbourne 

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