Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the forecast doubling of the jobless rate to 1.4 million people as “heartbreaking”.
The shutdown of the economy is expected to push the nation’s unemployment to 10 per cent by June.
“Well, it’s a heartbreaking number. Unemployment at that rate, hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs. It is just absolutely heartbreaking,” Mr Morrison told Today.
But he says the impact is being softened by the $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.
“The JobKeeper program means that we’ll be able to limit that devastation. And also we’ve got the doubling of the JobKeeper program which means those who do find themselves unemployed will be able to gain access to the support that we’ve never seen in this country before.”