While the latest GDP figures show the economy has shrunk seven per cent in the three months to June, one employment agency in Armidale says it has more jobs on the books than this time last year.
BEST Employment is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers several Federal and State Government work programs across the New England North West NSW, Darling Downs and the Granite Belt regions of Southern Queensland.
Emily Randell is the performance manager for BEST Employment in Armidale and says while unemployment is expected to rise there is work available.
"With JobKeeper and JobSeeker assistance due to scale back we are expecting an increase in the number of people looking for work, however, the good news is, there are jobs out there," Ms Randell said.
"We do have growing industries with community services, aged and disability care, and the agricultural sector, and we strongly encourage job seekers to look at these opportunities."
In regards to the Armidale job market, Ms Randell said she was seeing more jobs available now than last year.
"We have seen an increase in various roles such as cleaning positions and labouring positions with the high school being close to finished, and there will be the expansion at the tomato farm to follow on after.
"There are also vacancies in the aged and disability sectors, in particular, home care positions.
"All these position are entry-level positions and can assist our clients to step into the workforce for the first time or return to the workforce."
News of the Big W closure and uncertainty over the future of Rockmans and Katies is concerning though, Ms Randell agreed.
"Armidale's retail sector has been hit hard, and it is a big loss to the town with the businesses that have already shut down and the ones that plan to shut down in the near future," she said.
"It is a shame to have an industry such as retail take such a downturn in the town as the retail sector is usually the starting point for most people who are seeking employment and especially seeking their very first job.
"BEST has been able to help people who want a job, get a job or help increase their chances of employment through training and guidance from our team."
Yesterday the Federal Treasurer announced that as the GDP figures show two consecutive quarterly falls, Australia's economy has officially dived into its first recession in nearly 30 years.
This economic contraction is Australia's largest single-quarter decline on record. During the 1980s recession the economy shrunk by less than four per cent in one quarter and until yesterday that was the worst in recent decades.
And let's remember, the most recent stats don't include the impact of Melbourne's second lockdown.