6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Dec 2018 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2019   
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MEDIA RELEASE


24 January 2019

Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Trend unemployment rate at 5.0%

Australia's trend unemployment rate remained steady in December 2018 at 5.0 per cent, from a revised November 2018 figure, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: "The trend unemployment rate decreased 0.5 percentage points through 2018, and is now sitting at its lowest level since May 2011."

Employment and hours


In December 2018, trend employment increased by 23,100 persons. Full-time employment increased by 11,800 persons and part-time employment increased by 11,200 persons.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 284,100 persons (2.3 per cent), which was above the average annual growth over the past 20 years (2.0 per cent).

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.1 per cent in December 2018 and by 1.5 per cent over the past year. This was slightly below the 20 year average year-on-year growth of 1.7 per cent.

The trend underemployment rate increased by less than 0.1 percentage points to 8.4 per cent while the trend underutilisation rate remained steady at 13.4 per cent.

States and territories

This month, the trend unemployment rate increased in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, decreased in Victoria, and remained steady in all other states and the Australian Capital Territory.

Seasonally adjusted data

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.0 per cent in December 2018. The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 21,600 persons.

The net movement of employed in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms is underpinned by around 300,000 people entering and leaving employment in the month.

More details are in the December 2018 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). In addition, further information, including regional labour market information, can be found in the upcoming December 2018 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), due for release on 31 January 2019.

These publications are available for free download (after release) from the ABS website: http://www.abs.gov.au.


Media note:
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 or media@abs.gov.au (8.30am - 5pm Monday - Friday AEST).
  • The ABS produces trend estimates to provide a more reliable indicator of the underlying behaviour of the Labour Force series. Trend estimates were introduced into the Labour Force series in the mid 1980s and are available back to February 1978. Trend estimates are considered the best indicators of the underlying behaviour in the labour market. See paragraphs 28 to 37 of the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
  • Labour Force Survey data is complemented by other ABS measures to build a comprehensive picture of the labour market. Jobs in Australia data provides insights into all jobs held throughout the year.
  • Labour Accounts data provides the number of filled jobs at a point-in-time each quarter, while Labour Force data measures the number of people employed each month.
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