Australia’s unemployment steady at 5.1%

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Australia’s trend unemployment rate remained steady in April 2019 at 5.1%, from a revised March 2019 figure, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: “The unemployment rate remained at 5.1% for a second month, 0.4 percentage points lower than the same time last year.”

Last month, trend monthly employment increased by around 21,000 persons – full-time increased by 15,000 persons and part-time increased by 6,000 persons.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 311,000 persons (2.5%), above the average annual growth over the past 20 years (2.0%).

The rise in employment over the past year was supported by an increase of around 260,000 full-time and 50,000 part-time employed persons.

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.3% last month and by 2.8% 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 8.3% last month and decreased by 0.2 percentage points over the year. The monthly trend underutilisation rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 13.4%, and decreased by 0.6 percentage points over the year.

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

Over the year, the unemployment rate fell in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, and increased in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.2% last month, from 5.1% in March. The participation rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 65.8%. The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 28,000.

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.