The ABS monthly employment report for estimated there were 13 million working in early March, suggesting around 780,000 jobs may have been lost by early April.

The largest drop was in the accommodation and food services industry where a quarter of jobs were lost, while arts and recreation shed almost 19% of workers. (Photo: Reuters/Representational image)

Australia may have lost three quarters of a million jobs between mid-March and early April when large chunks of the economy were shut down in the fight against the coronavirus, new data showed on Tuesday.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed jobs recorded by the Australian Taxation Office payrolls system fell 6 per cent between March 14 and April 4.

The ATO system covers about 99 per cent of substantial employers, those with 20 or more workers, and 71 per cent of smaller employers.

The ABS monthly employment report for estimated there were 13 million working in early March, suggesting around 780,000 jobs may have been lost by early April.

The largest drop was in the accommodation and food services industry where a quarter of jobs were lost, while arts and recreation shed almost 19 per cent of workers.

“The largest impact of net job losses, in percentage terms, was for people aged under 20, for whom jobs decreased by 9.9 per cent,” said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labor statistics at the ABS.

Total wages paid by businesses decreased by 6.7 per cent over the period.

This was the first release of the payrolls series, which uses data reported by businesses through the ATO to provide much more timely numbers than the monthly jobs report.

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