Australia’s unemployment rate steady at 5.0%

In BICSI Bytes, Newsby

Australia’s trend unemployment rate remained steady in March 2019 at 5.0%, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

ABS Labour Statistics Program Manager Bjorn Jarvis said: “In trend terms, we’ve now seen the unemployment rate at 5.0% for five months and the participation rate holding steady at 65.6%.”

In March 2019, trend monthly employment increased by around 21,000 persons. Full-time employment increased by 18,000 persons and part-time employment increased by 3,000 persons.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 299,000 persons (2.4%) which was above the average annual growth over the past 20 years (2.0%).

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.2% in March 2019 and by 2.4% over the past year. This was above the 20-year average year-on-year growth of 1.7%.

The trend monthly underemployment rate remained steady at 8.2% in March 2019 and decreased by 0.4 percentage points over the year. The monthly trend underutilisation rate also remained steady, at 13.2%, and decreased by 0.9 percentage points over the year.

The trend unemployment rate remained steady in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia; decreased by 0.2 percentage points in the Northern Territory; and by less than 0.1 percentage points in Queensland and Western Australia. It increased by 0.1 percentage points in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Over the year, the unemployment rate fell in all states and territories except for Tasmania, the Northern Territory and South Australia.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point to 5.0% in March 2019, while the participation rate also increased 0.1 percentage points to 65.7%. The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 26,000.

The net movement of employed in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms is underpinned by around 300,000 people entering and leaving employment in the month.