Trend unemployment rate 5.3%

Australia’s trend unemployment rate increased in August 2019 to 5.3 per cent, from a revised July 2019 figure, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: “Australia’s trend unemployment rate increased to 5.3 per cent in August 2019. The trend participation rate increased further to 66.2 per cent, while employment continued to grow above the 20 year annual average.”

Employment and hours

In August 2019, trend monthly employment increased by around 22,000 people. Full-time employment increased by just over 7,000 people and part-time employment increased by an estimated 15,000 people.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 0.3 million people (2.5 per cent) which was above the average annual growth over the past 20 years (2.0 per cent). Full-time employment increased by 2.4 per cent and part-time employment increased by 2.8 per cent over the past year.

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.1 per cent in August 2019 and by 1.7 per cent over the past year. This is in line with the 20 year average year-on-year growth of 1.7 per cent.

Underemployment and underutilisation

The trend monthly underemployment rate remained steady at 8.5 per cent in August, an increase of 0.1 percentage points over the past year. The trend underutilisation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points over the past year.

States and territories trend unemployment rate

The trend unemployment rate remained steady in most states and territories, except for South Australia (up 0.2 percentage points), Queensland and the Northern Territory (up 0.1 percentage points) and Western Australia (down 0.1 percentage points).

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

Seasonally adjusted data

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by less than 0.1 percentage points to 5.3 per cent in August 2019, while the underemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 8.6 per cent. The seasonally adjusted participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 66.2 per cent, and the number of people employed increased by an estimated 35,000.

The net movement of employed in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms is underpinned by around 350,000 people entering and leaving employment in the month.

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