6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Jun 2018 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/07/2018   
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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY JUNE 2018


NATIONAL ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

Australia's trend estimate of employment increased by 26,900 persons in June 2018, with:

  • the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 1,200 persons;
  • the unemployment rate remaining steady at 5.4 per cent after the May figure was revised down;
  • the participation rate remaining steady at 65.6 per cent; and
  • the employment to population ratio remaining steady at 62.0 per cent.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 317,800 persons (or 2.6 per cent), which was above the average annual growth rate over the past 20 years of 2.0 per cent. Over the same 12 month period the trend employment to population ratio, which is a measure of how employed the population (aged 15 years and over) is, increased by 0.6 percentage points to 62.0 per cent.

In monthly terms, trend employment increased by 26,900 persons between May and June 2018. This represents an increase of 0.21 per cent, which was above the monthly average growth rate over the past 20 years of 0.16 per cent.

Underpinning these net changes in employment is extensive dynamic change, which occurs each month in the labour market. In recent months there has generally been considerably more than 300,000 people entering employment, and more than 300,000 leaving employment. There is also further dynamic change in the hours that people work, which results in changes in the full-time and part-time composition of employment.

In net terms, trend full-time employment increased by 13,400 persons between May and June 2018, and part-time employment increased by 13,500 persons. Compared to a year ago, there are 186,600 more persons employed full-time and 131,300 more persons employed part-time. This compositional shift led to an increase in the part-time share of employment over the past 12 months, from 31.6 per cent to 31.9 per cent.

The trend estimate of monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 3.4 million hours (or 0.2 per cent) in June 2018, to 1,752.0 million hours. Monthly hours worked increased by 2.6 per cent over the past year, the same as the increase in employed persons (2.6 per cent). The average hours worked per employed person was 139.5 hours per month, or around 32.2 hours per week.

The trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4 per cent in June 2018. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 1,200 to 719,000 persons. Over the past year the trend unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points, with the number of unemployed decreasing by 12,200 persons.

The trend participation rate remained steady at 65.6 per cent in June 2018, and was 0.4 percentage points higher than in June 2017. Both male and female participation rates remained steady at 70.8 per cent and 60.5 per cent respectively.

The labour force includes the total number of employed and unemployed persons. Over the past year, the labour force increased by 305,600 persons (2.4 per cent). This rate of increase was above the rate of increase for the total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over (317,400 persons, or 1.6 per cent).

The trend participation rate for 15-64 year olds, which controls (in part) for the effects of an ageing population increased slightly to 78.1 per cent. The gap between male and female participation rates in this age range is less than 10 percentage points, at 82.8 and 73.3 per cent respectively, continuing the long term convergence of male and female participation.

The trend participation rate for 15-24 year olds (who are often referred to as the "youth" group in the labour market) increased slightly to 67.9 per cent, a return to the same level previously observed in 2012. The unemployment rate for this group decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 11.6 per cent in June 2018 and decreased by 1.2 percent over the year.

The trend series smooths the more volatile seasonally adjusted estimates and provide the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 50,900 persons from May to June 2018 (a 0.4 per cent increase). The underlying composition of the net change was an increase of 41,200 persons in full-time employment and an increase of 9,700 persons in part-time employment. Since June 2017, full-time employment increased by 158,200 persons, while part-time employment increased by 180,800 persons.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 10.7 million hours (or 0.6 per cent) in June 2018 to 1,750.7 million hours.

The seasonally adjusted employment to population ratio increased by 0.2 percentage points to 62.1 per cent in June 2018, and increased by 0.7 percentage points from the same time last year.

Graph 1, Employment to population ratio, Persons, June 2008 to June 2018
Graph: Graph 1, Employment to population ratio, Persons, June 2008 to June 2018


The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4 per cent in June 2018. The participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 65.7 per cent.


STATE AND TERRITORY ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

In June 2018, increases in trend employment were observed in all states and territories. The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 13,000 persons), followed by Victoria (up 7,000 persons) and Queensland (up 3,900 persons).

Over the past year, increases in employment were also observed in all states and territories. The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 143,900 persons), Victoria (up 64,000 persons), Queensland (up 62,700 persons), and South Australia (up 19,000 persons). The highest annual employment growth rates were in New South Wales at 3.7 per cent, followed by the Australian Capital Territory at 2.9 per cent, Queensland at 2.6 per cent and South Australia at 2.3 per cent.

Year-on-year growth in trend employment was above the 20 year average in all states and territories except for Victoria and Western Australia. Year-on-year growth in trend employment in Victoria was 2.0 per cent (below the 20 year average of 2.2 per cent) and Western Australia was 1.3 per cent (below the 20 year average of 2.2 per cent).

The monthly trend unemployment rate increased by less than 0.1 percentage points in Victoria to 5.3 per cent. Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory experienced decreases in trend unemployment rates to 6.2 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively. The monthly trend unemployment rate remained unchanged in New South Wales (4.8 per cent), Queensland (6.1 per cent), South Australia (5.6 per cent), Tasmania (6.0 per cent) and the Northern Territory (4.1 per cent).

The largest increase in the trend participation rate was in the Northern Territory (up 0.2 percentage points to 76.9 percent).The monthly trend participation rate also increased in New South Wales (65.0 per cent) and Western Australia (68.6 per cent). The monthly trend participation rate remained unchanged in Victoria (65.4 per cent), Queensland (65.8 per cent), South Australia (62.8 per cent) and Tasmania (61.4 per cent). The only decrease was the Australian Capital Territory (down 0.2 percentage points from 71.2 per cent).


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest increase in employment was in New South Wales (up 27,300 persons), followed by Queensland (up 14,800 persons). The largest decrease was in Victoria (down 6,600 persons).

The only increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was in Victoria (up 0.5 percentage points to 5.6 per cent). The largest decrease was in Tasmania (down 0.7 percentage points to 5.8 per cent) followed by Queensland (down 0.3 percentage points to 5.9 per cent).

The largest increase in the seasonally adjusted participation rate was in New South Wales (up 0.2 percentage points to 61.5 per cent). The seasonally adjusted participation rate decreased in South Australia (down 0.2 percentage points to 62.6 percent) and Western Australia (down less than 0.1 percentage points to 68.5 per cent).

Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the two territories.

Table 1, Unemployment rate, States and Territories

Trend
Seasonally Adjusted
May
June
May
June
%
%
%
%

New South Wales
4.8
4.8
4.9
4.7
Victoria
5.2
5.3
5.1
5.6
Queensland
6.1
6.1
6.2
5.9
South Australia
5.6
5.6
5.6
5.4
Western Australia
6.3
6.2
6.3
6.1
Tasmania
6.0
6.0
6.6
5.8
Northern Territory
4.1
4.1
np
np
Australian Capital Territory
3.6
3.5
np
np
Australia
5.4
5.4
5.4
5.4

np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated