The ABS released the Labour Force data for February, today. Australia’s estimated seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2015 was 6.3 per cent, compared with 6.4 per cent for January 2015. In trend terms, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 per cent.
The seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate decreased to 64.6 per cent in February 2015 from 64.7 per cent in January 2015.
The ABS reported the number of people employed increased by 15,600 to 11,652,400 in February 2015 (seasonally adjusted). The increase in employment was driven by increases in both full-time (up 10,300) and part-time employment (up 5,300). Seasonally adjusted employment increased for both males (up 9,300) and females (up 6,300) in February 2015.
The ABS seasonally adjusted aggregate monthly hours worked series increased in February 2015, up 13.0 million hours (0.8%) to 1,620.8 million hours.
The seasonally adjusted number of people unemployed decreased by 15,800 to 777,300 in February 2015. The decrease was driven by those looking only for part-time work, down 18,600.
The seasonally adjusted underemployment rate was 8.6 per cent in February 2015, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from November 2014 based on unrounded estimates. Combined with the unemployment rate of 6.3 per cent, the latest seasonally adjusted estimate of total labour force underutilisation was 14.9 per cent in February 2015, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from November 2014.
Note that The February 2015 data incorporates estimates rebenchmarked to the latest population estimates and projections. Commencing from the May 2015 issue this will be a regular quarterly process which will ensure that the Labour Force series reflect the most up to date population benchmarks. So further tweaks to the data have been made, making series comparisons difficult.