Australia’s economic growth continues to outstrip forecasts

The economic recovery continues to gather momentum, with today’s ABS Labour Force numbers showing a huge leap in full time employment.

“With restrictions easing for many sectors, businesses are able to rebuild their workforce in preparation for a better year ahead,” acting CEO Jenny Lambert said.

With more than 88,700 new jobs added in February 2021, employment has now returned to its pre-COVID level, above 13 million, driving unemployment down to 5.8 per cent.

Importantly, when looking into the detail of these numbers, all the growth in February 2021 was in full time employment, which increased by 89,100 people, while part-time employment fell slightly, down 500 people.

“This suggest that, with this increasing confidence, businesses are prepared to take on employees on a permanent full-time basis, rather than part-time or casual. Full-time employment is now above its level entering the COVID crisis in February 2020.

“But it is important to remember that approximately 1.1million people are still on JobKeeper – and conservative estimates are that at least 100,000 people will lose their jobs with the support package ends.

“The recovery in employment is uneven, with employment lagging in sectors that continue to be impacted by border closures and restrictions, both international and domestic, as well as capacity limits on venues – particularly accommodation and food services, arts and recreations services and administrative and support services.

“Many businesses continue to face uncertainty about their prospects, including their ability to employ staff. An effective rollout of the vaccine is important for both household and business confidence in the economy and, therefore, employment over the coming months.”

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