6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, November 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/12/2018   
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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY NOVEMBER 2018


NATIONAL ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

Australia's trend estimate of employment increased by 28,800 persons in November 2018, with:

  • the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 3,000 persons;
  • the unemployment rate decreasing less than 0.1 percentage points to 5.1 per cent;
  • the participation rate increasing less than 0.1 percentage points to 65.7 per cent; and
  • the employment to population ratio remaining steady to 62.3 per cent.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 295,700 persons (or 2.4 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 0.4 percentage points to 62.3 per cent.

In monthly terms, trend employment increased by 28,800 persons between October and November 2018. This represents an increase of 0.23 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 19,300 persons between October and November 2018, and part-time employment increased by 9,500 persons. Compared to a year ago, there are 200,100 more persons employed full-time and 95,700 more persons employed part-time. The part-time share of employment over the past 12 months, remained stable at 31.6 per cent.


The trend estimate of monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 2.7 million hours (or 0.2 per cent) in November 2018, to 1,762.2 million hours. Monthly hours worked increased by 1.9 per cent over the past year, below the increase in employed persons (2.4 per cent). The average hours worked per employed person was 138.8 hours per month, or around 31.9 hours per week.

The trend unemployment rate decreased slightly to 5.1 per cent in November 2018. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 3,000 persons to 684,400 persons. Over the past year, the trend unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points, with the number of unemployed decreasing by 33,900 persons.

The trend underemployment rate increased slightly to 8.4 per cent over the month to November 2018. Over the past year this rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points, from 8.5 per cent in November 2017. The underutilisation rate, which is a combined measure of unemployment and underemployment in the labour force, was 13.5 per cent in November 2018, down 0.5 percentage points from 14.0 per cent in November 2017.

The trend participation rate increased slightly to 65.7 per cent in November 2018, and was 0.2 percentage points higher than in November 2017. The female participation rate rose to 60.5 per cent and the male participation rate rose to 71.0 per cent.

The labour force includes the total number of employed and unemployed persons. Over the past year, the labour force increased by 261,900 persons (2.0 per cent). This rate of increase was above the rate of increase for the total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over (335,900 persons, or 1.7 per cent).

The trend participation rate for 15-64 year olds, which controls (in part) for the effects of an ageing population increased by 0.1 percentage points to 78.1 per cent. The gap between male and female participation rates in this age range is less than 10 percentage points, at 82.9 and 73.3 per cent respectively.

The trend participation rate for 15-24 year olds (who are often referred to as the "youth" group in the labour market) remained steady at 67.8 per cent. The unemployment rate for this group increased by 0.1 percentage points to 11.4 per cent in November 2018, however decreased by 0.9 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 37,000 persons from October to November 2018. The underlying composition of the net change was a decrease of 6,400 persons in full-time employment and an increase of 43,400 persons in part-time employment. Since November 2017, full-time employment increased by 180,200 persons, while part-time employment increased by 105,500 persons.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased by 3.3 million hours (or 0.2 per cent) in November to 1,759.5 million hours.

The seasonally adjusted employment to population ratio increased by 0.1 percentage points to 62.3 per cent in November 2018, and increased by 0.4 percentage points from the same time last year.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points over the month to 5.1 per cent in November 2018. The participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 65.7 per cent.

The seasonally adjusted underemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 8.5 per cent. The underutilisation rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 13.6 per cent in the month to November, however was 0.3 percentage points lower than a year ago.

STATE AND TERRITORY ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

In November 2018, increases in trend employment were observed in most states and territories excluding the Northern Territory (down 300 persons), and Tasmania (unchanged). The largest increases were in Victoria (up 11,100 persons), followed by New South Wales (up 9,900 persons).

Over the past year, increases in employment were also observed in all states, with the two territories recording falls. The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 126,700 persons), Victoria (up 103,300 persons), and Queensland (up 28,100 persons). The highest annual employment growth rates were in New South Wales and Victoria at 3.2 per cent. Year-on-year growth in trend employment was above their 20 year average for New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

The monthly trend unemployment rate increased in the Northern Territory (up 0.3 percentage points to 5.0 per cent) and Western Australia (up 0.1 percentage points to 6.3 per cent), and decreased in New South Wales (down 0.1 percentage points to 4.4 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (down 0.1 percentage points to 3.4 per cent). Victoria (4.6 per cent), Queensland (6.3 per cent), South Australia (5.6 per cent) and Tasmania (5.8 per cent) all remained unchanged.

Graph 1, Employment to population ratio, Persons, November 2008 to November 2018

Graph 1, Employment to population ratio, Persons, November 2008 to November 2018


The monthly trend participation rate decreased in the Northern Territory (down 0.3 percentage points to 74.0 per cent), Tasmania (down 0.2 percentage points to 60.6 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (down 0.1 percentage points to 70.0 per cent), New South Wales (down less than 0.1 percentage points to 64.9 per cent) and South Australia (down less than 0.1 percentage points to 62.4 per cent). The trend participation rate increased in Western Australia (up 0.1 percentage points to 68.9 percent) and Victoria (up less than 0.1 percentage points to 65.8 per cent). The monthly trend participation rate remained unchanged in Queensland (65.7 per cent).

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest increase in employment was in Victoria (up 30,900 persons), followed by Queensland (up 21,800 persons). The largest decrease was in New South Wales (down 12,600 persons).

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased in Western Australia (up 0.8 percentage points to 6.5 per cent), Tasmania (up 0.5 percentage points to 5.8 per cent), Queensland (up 0.1 percentage points to 6.4 per cent) and Victoria (up 0.1 percentage points to 4.6 per cent). The largest decrease in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was recorded in New South Wales (down 0.1 percentage points to 4.4 per cent) and South Australia (down 0.1 percentage points to 5.3 per cent).

The largest increase in the seasonally adjusted participation rate was in Western Australia (up 0.6 percentage points to 69.1 per cent), followed by Victoria (up 0.5 percentage points to 66.0 per cent), and Queensland (up 0.5 percentage points to 66.0 per cent).
The seasonally adjusted participation rate decreased in New South Wales (down 0.4 percentage points to 64.9 per cent), Tasmania (down 0.3 percentage points to 60.4 per cent) and South Australia (down 0.3 percentage points to 62.3 per cent).

Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the two territories.

Table 1, Unemployment rate, States and Territories

Trend
Seasonally Adjusted
October
November
October
November
%
%
%
%

New South Wales
4.5
4.4
4.5
4.4
Victoria
4.6
4.6
4.5
4.6
Queensland
6.3
6.3
6.3
6.4
South Australia
5.5
5.6
5.4
5.3
Western Australia
6.2
6.3
5.7
6.5
Tasmania
5.8
5.8
5.2
5.8
Northern Territory
4.8
5.0
np
np
Australian Capital Territory
3.5
3.4
np
np
Australia
5.2
5.1
5.0
5.1

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