Australia must brace for more 'hard news', says PM as employment slumps

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference held with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australians must brace for more “hard news”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, as employment in April plunged by the most on record sending the jobless rate to a five-year high.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the job losses were “heart breaking” and that economic numbers would get worse before getting better.

Morrison and Frydenberg were addressing reporters in Canberra after monthly employment data for April showed jobs dived by a record 594,300 and the unemployment rate shot up to at 6.2%.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Shri Navaratnam