6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Mar 2020 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/04/2020   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

MARCH KEY FIGURES


Feb 20
Mar 20
Feb 20 to Mar 20
Mar 19 to Mar 20

Trend
Employed people ('000)
13,003.7
13,020.5
16.8
1.8%
Unemployed people ('000)
709.8
713.3
3.5
4.0%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.2
5.2
0.0 pts
0.1 pts
Underemployment rate (%)
8.6
8.7
0.1 pts
0.4 pts
Participation rate (%)
66.0
66.0
0.0 pts
0.2 pts
Monthly hours worked in all jobs ('000 000)
1,781.4
1,781.7
0.2
0.8%

Seasonally Adjusted
Employed people ('000)
13,011.7
13,017.6
5.9
1.8%
Unemployed people ('000)
698.4
718.6
20.3
4.8%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.1
5.2
0.1 pts
0.1 pts
Underemployment rate (%)
8.7
8.8
0.1 pts
0.6 pts
Participation rate (%)
66.0
66.0
0.0 pts
0.3 pts
Monthly hours worked in all jobs ('000 000)
1,776.3
1,784.9
8.6
0.7%


EMPLOYED PEOPLE
Graph shows, in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms, the monthly uptick in the Employed People increasing steadily from approximately 11,600,000 people in March 2015 to approximately 13,000,000 people in March 2020.


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
Graph shows, in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms, the general downturn in the Unemployment Rate from 6.1 per cent in March 2015 to as low as 5.0 per cent in December 2018. In March 2020 the unemployment rate is at 5.2 per cent.


TREND ESTIMATES

  • Employment increased 16,800 to 13,020,500 persons. Full-time employment increased 8,800 to 8,888,900 persons and part-time employment increased 8,000 to 4,131,600 persons.
  • Unemployment increased 3,500 to 713,300 persons.
  • Unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2%.
  • Participation rate remained steady at 66.0%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 0.2 million hours to 1,781.7 million hours.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

  • Employment increased 5,900 to 13,017,600 persons. Full-time employment decreased 400 to 8,882,200 persons and part-time employment increased 6,400 to 4,135,400 persons.
  • Unemployment increased 20,300 to 718,600 persons.
  • Unemployment rate increased 0.1 pts to 5.2%.
  • Participation rate remained steady at 66.0%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 8.6 million hours to 1,784.9 million hours.

LABOUR UNDERUTILISATION

  • The monthly trend underemployment rate increased 0.1 pts to 8.7%. The monthly underutilisation rate increased 0.1 pts to 13.9%.
  • The monthly seasonally adjusted underemployment rate increased 0.1 pts to 8.8%. The monthly underutilisation rate increased 0.2 pts to 14.0%.


NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

IssueRelease Date
April 202014 May 2020
May 202018 June 2020
June 202016 July 2020
July 202013 August 2020
August 202017 September 2020
September 202015 October 2020


MANAGING THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ON LABOUR FORCE STATISTICS


The ABS is currently monitoring for potential impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Labour Force statistics and will continue to do so for the duration of the pandemic.

Quality assurance of March data did not identify any major impact to headline statistics, with only some small early impacts evident, particularly in hours worked. It is important to note that the reference period for March was 1-14 March, which was before a global pandemic was declared and before the major actions in Australia to contain the spread of the virus.

As with other major disruption to the economy, early impacts are usually most evident in the monthly hours worked in all jobs series (Spreadsheet 19) in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). Additional information, such as the reason people worked fewer hours than usual, is available within Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), due for release on 23 April. Some of the aggregate information, in original terms, from the detailed release has been published in a spotlight article in this release, to assist in analysis of March Labour Force data. This information can be found in Spotlight: Insights into hours worked. Some caution needs to be exercised when using original data at more disaggregated levels, as they are subject to larger sampling variability and seasonal patterns.

Additional supporting information can also be found in Spotlight: Classifying people during the COVID-19 period, Spotlight: Impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on trend estimation and seasonal adjustment in the Labour Force Survey and Spotlight: People moving into or out of employment or unemployment every month.

The ABS will also be actively managing the potential risks from COVID-19 to data collection operations. Around 90% of responses to the Labour Force Survey are usually provided through telephone interviews or online, leaving around 10% involving face-to-face interviews.

While the ABS suspended face-to-face interviews during the last week of March 2020 enumeration, there was no notable impact on survey collection operations or the quality of March data, with response to the survey at a similar level to previous months. The ABS acknowledges the continued support of Australians in responding to our surveys during such a difficult time, given how critically important this information is.

Additionally, travel restrictions have meant that ABS interviewers have not been able to collect Labour Force data from some remote and very remote Indigenous communities. To ensure that the contribution from these communities remains represented within Labour Force statistics, the ABS has imputed some information. It is expected that the ABS will continue with this approach for the duration of the pandemic.

March LFS reference weeks (1st - 14th March); February LFS released (19th March); April LFS reference weeks(29th March - 11th April); March LFS released (16th April)

ADDITIONAL LABOUR MARKET DATA TO BE PUBLISHED DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

From 23 March, Australia has seen the progressive introduction of major social distancing and other business-related restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. In response to this, the ABS introduced the Business Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, with the most recent data released on 7 April. In addition, two new statistical products – the Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey and Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia – will be released on 20 April and 21 April.

Further information on these products and other regular products can be found in ‘Measuring the labour market impacts of COVID-19’, as part of a suite of additional COVID-19 related measures at www.abs.gov.au/covid19.

MANAGING THE IMPACT OF THE BUSHFIRES ON LABOUR FORCE STATISTICS

Major bushfires resulted in disruption to ABS data collection operations in some regions in New South Wales and Victoria during January 2020, and to a lesser extent in February 2020. A few remaining areas in New South Wales, particularly within the ‘Capital Region’, were still unable to be surveyed in March 2020.

The ABS has resumed publishing the full suite of estimates for the bushfire affected regions. Caution should be exercised in comparing estimates for these regions for January 2020 and February 2020 with estimates before and after these months, and in comparing these estimates with those for other regions.

CHANGES IN FUTURE ISSUES - NEW ABS WEBSITE IN 2020

The ABS will be launching a new website in 2020. You will soon be able to see how this release and other labour statistics will appear on the new website by exploring our Beta site. Regular users of this information are encouraged to explore the Beta site and consider any implications for the way you access and consume ABS data and information. If you would like more information on the new ABS website, or want to discuss how the transition to the new site might impact you, please email newABSwebsite@abs.gov.au

As part of the move to a new ABS website, we have also been exploring new ways to deliver labour statistics, including developing prototypes for:


We welcome any feedback on these Key labour market indicator and Labour Force prototypes. Feedback can be provided via the 'Leave feedback' button at the end of the page, or by emailing us directly at labour.statistics@abs.gov.au.

ROUNDING

Estimates of changes in the commentary have been calculated using un-rounded estimates, and may be different from, but are more accurate than, movement obtained from the rounded estimates. Graphs also depict un-rounded estimates.

SAMPLING ERROR

The estimates in this publication are based on a sample survey. Published estimates and movements are subject to sampling variability. Standard errors give a measure of sampling variability. The interval bounded by two standard errors is the 95% confidence interval, which provides a way of looking at the variability inherent in estimates. There is a 95% chance that the true value of the estimate lies within that interval.



MOVEMENTS IN SEASONALLY ADJUSTED SERIES BETWEEN FEBRUARY 2020 AND MARCH 2020

Monthly change
95% Confidence interval

Total Employment
5,900
-55,700
to
67,500
Total Unemployment
20,300
-18,300
to
58,900
Unemployment rate
0.1 pts
-0.1 pts
to
0.3 pts
Participation rate
0.0 pts
-0.4 pts
to
0.4 pts



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, email client.services@abs.gov.au or contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.