Fears of a major hiccup in Australia's impressive economic recovery from recession when the Morrison government pulled the pin on its successful JobKeeper scheme appear to be overblown - at least so far.
And Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's big spending, jobs focused budget this week aims to keep it that way.
"Tuesday night's budget is going to help create more jobs. Tuesday night's budget will help Australia's economy grow more strongly," the treasurer promised in parliament on Thursday..
The JobKeeper wage subsidy that was introduced during the height of the pandemic ended in March.
But demand for workers has remained strong and the many businesses that had been relying on it appear to be keeping their doors open for now.
Job advertiser SEEK's latest employment report shows demand for workers is at record levels.
It shows job ads jumped 11.9 per cent in April, a second consecutive month of record postings.
Compared to a year ago when the economy was in recession, jobs ads are now a staggering 263.7 per cent higher - while for a more meaningful comparison, they were up 30.9 per cent compared to April 2019.
"Traditionally at this time of year we would be talking about a quieter employment market due to the impact of the Easter holidays on recruitment," SEEK ANZ managing director Kendra Banks said.
"The COVID bounce-back continues at pace, particularly in small- and medium-sized businesses. Many of the jobs currently being advertised are for roles that were displaced in the (past) year."
However, applications per ad have fallen to their lowest level since 2012.
In February applications per ad were 28.7 per cent lower than in February 2020 and dropped by a further 13.8 per cent in March.
"The reasons for this include workers continuing to display a more cautious attitude to the job market, and the reduced labour supply impacting the ability to fill roles," Ms Banks said.
Preliminary vacancy figures produced earlier this week by the National Skills Commission also showed job ads posted on the internet rose for a 12th consecutive month.
At the same time, the Australian Bureau of Statistics payroll jobs report showed employment rose 0.4 per cent in the fortnight to April 24, although the ABS said it was still difficult at this stage to gauge whether there had been any JobKeeper impact given the timing of Easter.
The report is a precursor to the full jobs data release for April due next Thursday, a report Commonwealth Bank economists expect to show a further decline in the unemployment rate to 5.4 per cent from 5.6 per cent.
At the same time, CreditorWatch's first business risk review since the end of JobKeeper released this week showed firms were still in good shape.
"Defaults are below where they were a year ago at the peak of Australia's pandemic crisis and external administrations are trending down again," CreditorWatch CEO Patrick Coghlan says.
"But we won't really be able to get a true read on economic conditions until the June and September quarters, when businesses will have had time to stand on their own feet for a period without government support."
Australian Associated Press