The ACT's effective unemployment rate has nearly halved since April in new Treasury figures reflecting the impact of Victoria's second wave on the national economy.
New Treasury estimates showed the territory's effective jobless rate, which counts workers employed but receiving no working hours and people who have left the labour market, was the nation's lowest in July.
The figures were released as Parliament resumed sittings on Monday and prepared to consider legislation to reduce and extend JobKeeper wage subsidies and the JobSeeker payment.
Proposed legislation to be introduced on Wednesday would extend industrial relations changes to March for businesses receiving JobKeeper payments, allowing them to reduce working hours, adjust duties and alter the location of work for staff.
Businesses no longer receiving JobKeeper, but which can demonstrate a 10 per cent reduction in turnover, will be able to cut staff hours but not below 60 per cent of their ordinary hours of work
They will also be unable to require employees to work less than two hours on a work day, and must give staff seven days' written notice when making use of the proposed industrial relations rules.
Legislation proposed by the Coalition government would scale back JobKeeper payments from $1500 to $1200 at the end of September, and then down to $1000 from December to March.
Treasury figures released on Monday showed the ACT's effective unemployment rate fell from 9.8 per cent in April to 5.2 per cent in July, ahead of Tasmania (7.9 per cent), and NSW (8.5 per cent).
The nation's effective unemployment rate was 9.9 per cent in July, down from a peak of 14.9 per cent in April as 689,000 people gained effective employment, the Treasury estimates showed.
NSW had 315,000 people gaining effective employment since April, and recovered 69.4 per cent of the number of people effectively unemployed in April compared with March.
Victoria's second wave of coronavirus infections had slowed the national economic recovery, according to Treasury.
It warned that Victorian lockdowns will lead to a deterioration in labour market conditions. Not counting Victoria, the national effective unemployment rate would have been lower at 9.5 per cent.
The effective unemployment rate is forecast to increase above 13 per cent in coming months with a rise of about 450,000 people unemployed in August and September relative to July, the majority of which are in Victoria.
Economist Saul Eslake said the main factor helping the ACT's economic performance was that about 44 per cent of its jobs were in the public sector, which hadn't been affected by cuts.
"A much larger proportion than in other states and territories are white collar jobs which can be done remotely," he said.
"Another possible explanation could be that people who have lost their jobs in Canberra and have no reason to stay may have gone back to the places they originally came from."
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the nation had recovered more than half of the jobs lost or those who were stood down on zero hours at the start of the COVID-19 crisis.