Scott Morrison has warned of potential economic uncertainty for global markets in coming months in the wake of COVID-19.
The comments come after an unexpected rise in Australia’s unemployment rate, increasing from 4.6 to 5.2 per cent during October.
The period, taken when lockdowns were still in effect in eastern states, saw the loss of 46,300 jobs.
While the prime minister indicated future unemployment figures would be more positive, there would be future economic challenges.
“Of course there is uncertainty ahead when it comes to the global economy and what we’re seeing with inflation and supply chain pressures,” he told Melbourne’s 3AW on Friday.
“The economic uncertainty that is going to come with the post-pandemic period is very real.”
It coincides with inflation levels in the United States reaching its highest levels in three decades.
However, Mr Morrison said there was unlikely to be a direct knock-on effect to Australian markets.
“The changes of what’s happening in the global economy means an environment in which economic management in Australia’s going to be more important than ever,” he said.
“We’ve done extremely well through the pandemic to get to where we are.”
While the jobless rate increased during the past month, multiple industries have experienced labour shortages following the easing of lockdowns.
Skilled workers, who are expected to help fill some of the shortages, are not expected to be allowed to fly into the country until later this year, under the reopening plan of international borders.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the shortage combined with the unemployment rate was a “double-whammy”.
“This is not a recovery for everyone,” Dr Chalmers told Sky News.
“We all want to see the job market get better, but for a couple of hundred of thousands in Australia in the last few months alone, the reality is very different.”
Despite the unemployment increase, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said he remained confident of an economic surge.
“It demonstrates there is a pain that comes with lockdown, but a power that comes with reopening, in the sense that now we have opening across all states of Australia,” Senator Birmingham told ABC News on Friday.
“We should see that rebound and that is evident in the consumer confidence data, in the business confidence data, that is out at present.”