6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Nov 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/12/2017   
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MEDIA RELEASE


14 December 2017

Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

177/2017
Continued strength in employment growth

Employment and hours

Monthly trend full-time employment increased for the 14th straight month in November 2017. Full-time employment grew by a further 15,000 persons in November, while part-time employment increased by 7,000 persons, underpinning a total increase in employment of 22,000 persons.

"Full-time employment has now increased by around 308,000 persons since November 2016, and makes up the majority of the 371,000 net increase in employment over the period," the Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman, said.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 3.1 per cent, which is above the average year-on-year growth over the past 20 years (1.9 per cent).

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 3.8 million hours (0.2 per cent), with the annual figure also reflecting strong growth (3.4 per cent).

The labour force participation rate increased to 65.4 per cent, the highest it has been since October 2011. The female labour force participation also increased, to a further historical high of 60.1 per cent.

Unemployment and Underemployment

The monthly trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4 per cent in November 2017. The last time the trend unemployment rate was lower was in January 2013.

The quarterly trend underemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 8.4 per cent over the quarter to November 2017.

“Over the course of 2017 the underemployment rate has fallen from an historical high of 8.7 per cent in February to 8.4 per cent in November, its lowest point in almost two years,“ Mr Hockman said.

The quarterly trend underutilisation rate, which includes both unemployment and underemployment, decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 13.8 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted data
The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 62,000 in November 2017. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4 per cent and the labour force participation rate increased to 65.5 per cent.

More details are in the November 2017 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). In addition, further information, including regional labour market information, can be found in the upcoming November 2017 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), due for release on 21 December 2017. Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003), which includes employment by industry, is also due for release on 21 December.

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 Communications and Partnerships Section on 1300 175 070 (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).
  • In simple terms, the ABS defines ‘unemployment’ as persons who are not working, are actively looking for work and available to start work in the survey reference week. ‘Underemployment’ refers to people who are working but would like to be working more hours. ‘Underutilisation’ refers to the combined unemployed and underemployed populations. Information on other related groups (eg. ‘marginally attached’ people) can be found in Participation, Job Search and Mobility (cat. no. 6226.0), available annually in respect of February.
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