People at a disadvantage to finding work are competing against an increasing number of people for fewer jobs, new figures have shown.
A report released by Anglicare Australia found there were 106 people for each entry-level position in the jobs market, a figure that has worsened due to coronavirus and ensuing recession.
For those seeking employment but have barriers to work such as not finishing year 12 or having a disability, eight people with a disadvantage were competing for the same position.
While the ACT had the fewest number of people with a disadvantage competing for entry-level jobs, 2.5, Tasmania was the worst-affected jurisdiction with 21 people per job.
The report found unemployment rose from 704,000 in May 2019 to 923,000 in May 2020.
Those who were underemployed also increased from 1.16 million to 1.7 million in the same time period.
Anglicare's executive director Kasy Chambers said while the jobs market was already challenging for those at a disadvantage before the pandemic, coronavirus had exacerbated the situation for thousands of people.
"Our concern is that the number of jobs is falling off and the government is withdrawing support that it gave out in March," Ms Chambers said.
"What the economic response to coronavirus has done is that it closed down a lot of jobs like retail, hospitality and travel, and we can see many more Australians are searching for work."
Ms Chambers said while the number of those who were unemployed competing for the same entry-level role was already high, the number of underemployed people also applying for the same jobs made the jobs market even more difficult.
"This has been a very unusual year, and what we're seeing is more people who are now unemployed or underemployed and there's an even greater level of competition," she said.
"People's jobs may have gone overnight but people's disadvantage doesn't get solved overnight, and there are a number of people still in the job pool."
Among those is Rosa, who did not provide her last name, who has been out of work for three years after working for decades in the hospitality sector.
In her early 60s, Rosa said it has been a struggle to try and find new work.
"At my very first interview with my Jobactive provider, I was told I am not unlikely to find a job at my age. Since then, they haven't even been pretending to help me," she said.
Rosa said she had been undertaking work for the dole until mutual obligations were suspended in the wake of coronavirus and the rate of JobSeeker was increased.
With the rate of JobSeeker being cut by $300 a fortnight, she said there was much uncertainty ahead.
"I am dreading the next few months," she said.
"I'll have to go back onto $40 a day and I'll have to give up caring for my grandchildren when all the rules come back, even though looking after the kids is the most useful thing I could be doing."