Drought costs one-in-four farm jobs

New Federal Government figures show one-in-four jobs in the farm sector have been lost because of the drought.

The latest economic roundup by the Treasury department, says the drought has cost 100,000 jobs in the agricultural sector over the past two years, the biggest downturn in 40 years.

Tony Steven, from the Council of Small Business Organisations, says the figures reflect what his members in rural Australia have been saying for some time.

He says the situation has started to improve, but it's too late for employees who've already been laid off.

"I think there is some relief on the horizon, but unfortunately a lot of these people have already left these towns.

"The big social implication is that if you haven't got a job, a lot of people in the regional and rural areas end up going to the big cities.

"The knock on effect of that is that the size of the market available to these small businesses diminishes."

This is a transcript from the ABC National Rural News that is broadcast daily to all states on ABC Regional Radio's Country Hour and in the city on ABC News Radio.