New data shows the grim reality of having NSW, Victoria and the ACT in lockdown

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High COVID-19 vaccination rates and the easing of restrictions should lift the mood of both consumers and businesses.

It will be good news for retailers, having been hit hard with half the population in lockdown fighting the Delta variant, but also more broadly in terms of future employment and investment.

This week will see a series a confidence measures for consumers and business.

However, there will also be data showing the grim reality of having NSW, Victoria and the ACT in lockdown.

The labour force report for September is released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

Economist forecasts point to a further 120,000 loss of jobs in the month following the hefty 146,300 tumble in August. Forecasts range from a drop 25,000 jobs to to 225,000.

Perversely, the unemployment rate fell to a near-13-year low of 4.5 per cent in August, but this was the result of people giving up looking for work.

Economists forecasts point to a further 120,000 loss of jobs for September. Credit: AAP

For September, economists expect the jobless rate to rise to 4.8 per cent, although predictions were again wide ranging, from an unchanged 4.5 per cent to a spike to 5.4 per cent.

Forward indicators of employment, like job advertising, are suggesting the unemployment could peak at just over five per cent in the coming months.

Even so, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe believes the ABS measure of hours worked is the best indicator of labour market conditions at the moment, which slumped by 66 million hours in August, or 3.7 per cent.

On Tuesday the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index – a pointer to future household spending – will be released.

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