Australia will face 25-year highs in unemployment as the country falls into recession amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, new data released by country's treasury suggests.
"The economic shock facing the global economy from the coronavirus is far more significant than what was seen during the global financial crisis over a decade ago," Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a statement to state-run ABC news.
The unemployment rate is set to rise by June this year to its highest level since 1994 -- over 10% -- as nearly with 1.4 million Australians may lose their jobs.
Currently, Australia's unemployment rate is 5.1%, with the country seeing double digits last in 1992 at 11.2%.
Australia has 6,351 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while 61 people have died due to the disease.
Frydenberg said: "Every arm of government and industry is working to keep Australians in jobs and business in business, and to build a bridge to recovery on the other side."
Treasury data indicate that had the government not intervened with a $79.3-billion wage subsidy program, dubbed JobKeeper, to fight the economic stress due to the coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment rate would be "much higher, and peak at 15%."
After originating in Wuhan, China last December, the virus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe, while China has largely come out of the crisis.
The virus infected over 1.8 million people worldwide, while some 441,300 people recovered from the disease, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. More than 116,000 have died.
Despite the rising number of cases, most people who get infected suffer only mild symptoms and make a recovery.