Some 260,000 jobs will the lost under the Victorian government's widely criticised roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions by the end of the year, a think tank says.
The conservative-leaning Institute of Public Affairs on Tuesday released an analysis of the state's jobs market, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics wages and employment data.
It estimates the roadmap, which will be applied from September 14 to November 23 as average daily case numbers reach certain milestones, will destroy 260,000 jobs.
This would add to the 432,000 jobs estimated to have been lost in the state since coronavirus restrictions began to be implemented from March.
In total, 696,000 Victorians will be unemployed by the end of November, including an estimated additional 4,000 jobs the IPA says will be lost in the week before the roadmap takes effect.
"Daniel Andrews is crushing jobs, small business, and the spirit of mainstream Victorians with continued lockdown measures," IPA research fellow Cian Hussey said in a statement.
The state Labor government's staged pathway out of the current harsh lockdown measures has been widely criticised by business lobby groups, who argue it's too restrictive.
The government has defended its "safe and steady" pathway out of the state's second wave of COVID-19 infections and warned any faster loosening of restrictions risks a third wave, which would be even worse for the business community.
Mr Andrews on Monday declined to say what the government's own modelling forecast for job losses under the pathway plan.
According to the IPA, there are currently 3.3 million Victorians in work, meaning the total incurred and expected job losses under the lockdowns will be equivalent to 21 per cent of the state's workforce.
Australian Associated Press