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4.4 million Australians lose their jobs as part of global downturn

4.2 million people lost their jobs in Australia in the fourth quarter of this year, a new report shows, with retail, hospitality, retail and food and drink sector sectors all reporting job losses.

Key points:More than 4.5 million people were out of work in Australia last yearThe employment report for December shows more than 4 million people had lost their job in AustraliaA report released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says the job losses in Australia are not the first time Australia has experienced job lossesIn the US, more than 400,000 jobs were lost in the same periodThe report shows there were 4.3 million job losses recorded in Australia between December 2014 and December 2017, with the number of people employed in retail, wholesale and wholesale trade sectors at the lowest level in nearly seven years.

“Australia is experiencing a labour market slowdown,” the ABS said in the report.

“Despite this, the ABS says unemployment is not at record levels.”

The ABS report shows Australia is on track to record its first annual jobless rate under the Coalition Government in three years. 

“Australia’s unemployment rate is still below the historical norm of 4.1 per cent.”‘

Disappointing’ The ABS report comes amid concerns about the country’s long-term economic outlook.

Labor frontbencher Simon Birmingham has accused the Government of ignoring the national economy.

“We have been told that the only thing that is going to help is more investment in the economy, but at the moment we are losing more jobs than we are adding,” Mr Birmingham said on Monday.

“This is a disappointing state of affairs.”

In a statement to the ABC, Mr Birmingham also said the Government was not responding to his calls for better jobs for Australian workers.

“Instead of addressing the challenges of this job market, the Government is focused on cutting government funding and making further cuts to programs such as childcare, education and health,” the statement said.

“While the Government has been clear in stating that it is committed to supporting workers and companies, we cannot wait for the next election to get this right.”

“We will not wait until November 2020 to make the investment that we need to help people.”