Unemployment remains at 3.9% as the labor market continues to strengthen

Australia’s labor market has continued to strengthen, with unemployment remaining at 3.9% last month and underemployment falling to a 14-year low.

Key points:

  • The underutilization rate has reached a minimum of 40 years
  • The unemployment rate remained at 3.9% in May, with strong growth in full-time jobs
  • The participation rate reached a new record high of 66.7%.

The latest monthly figures from the Bureau of Statistics estimate that an additional 60,600 people were employed in May, driven entirely by full-time jobs.

The number of people officially considered unemployed rose by 7,800 as more people entered the world of work.

The strength of the labor market has seen the underemployment rate reach a 14-year low, falling from 6.1% to 5.7%.

With the unemployment rate nearing a 50-year low, the underemployment rate has fallen to a 40-year low.

“At this point in the cycle, with the unemployment rate at a low of almost 50 years, this is an excellent result,” said Callam Pickering, an APAC economist at Global Indeed Workplace.

“Especially given the growing concerns about inflation and higher interest rates.

“The next 12 months will not be easy, but we are entering this challenging period from a very strong position that will hopefully allow homes and businesses to weather the storm.”

More people join the workforce

In May, as more people entered the workforce looking for work, the participation rate rose to a new record high, from 66.4% to 66.7%.

This increase in the size of the labor force explains why the unemployment rate remained stable at 3.9 percent, because it offset the strong growth in employment.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labor statistics at ABS, said: “The increase in May 2022 was the seventh consecutive increase in employment, following the easing of lock-in restrictions at the end of 2021.”

“The average employment growth over the last three months (30,000) is still stronger than the previous pandemic trend of about 20,000 people a month,” he said.

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Posted 1 hour 1 hour agoThursday, June 16, 2022 at 2:05 AM, updated 1 hour ago 1 hour ago Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 2:55 AM

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