Trend unemployment rate remains at 5.5 per cent

The monthly trend unemployment rate remained at 5.5 per cent in October 2017, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. This reflects the continued strength in employment growth in the Australian labour market.

Monthly trend full-time employment increased for the 13th straight month in October 2017. Full-time employment grew by a further 16,000 persons in October, while part-time employment increased by 4,000 persons.

“Full-time employment has now increased by around 289,000 persons since October 2016, and makes up the majority of the 347,000 person net increase in employment over the period,” Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman, said.

“Over the past year, trend employment increased by 2.9 per cent, which is above the average year-on-year growth over the past 20 years (1.9 per cent).”

The labour force participation rate remained at 65.2 per cent for a second month, the highest it has been since April 2012.

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 3.5 million hours (0.2 per cent), with the annual figure also showing strong growth (3.1 per cent). This is consistent with the continued growth in full-time employment.

Mr Hockman added: “Over the past year, the states and territories with the strongest annual growth in employment were Queensland (4.6 per cent), ACT (3.1 per cent), Tasmania (3.0 per cent) and Victoria (2.8 per cent).”

Trend series smooth the more volatile seasonally adjusted estimates and provide the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 4,000 in October 2017. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 5.4 per cent and the labour force participation rate decreased to 65.1 per cent.

Author: Martin North

Martin North is the Principal of Digital Finance Analytics

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