People who receive the JobSeeker or other similar government payments are not necessarily classified as unemployed (just as those classified as unemployed are not necessarily going to also be in receipt of a government payment).
The JobSeeker payment is paid to people who are looking for work or are sick or injured and can not undertake their usual work or study for a short time, and who meet the eligibility requirements. People can also receive the JobSeeker payment if they have a job, if they meet a low income test. Recent changes to the JobSeeker program as result of COVID-19 also mean that recipients do not have to meet the usual mutual obligation requirements (such as looking for work).
To be classified as unemployed in Labour Force statistics, a person must:
- have actively looked for full-time or part-time work in the last four weeks; and
- be available for work in the reference week.
People who were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then are also classified as unemployed.