6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, May 2020 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/06/2020   
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MAY KEY FIGURES


Apr 20
May 20
Apr 20 to May 20
May 19 to May 20

Seasonally Adjusted
Employed people ('000)
12,381.8
12,154.1
-227.7
-5.4%
Unemployed people ('000)
841.9
927.6
85.7
30.9%
Unemployment rate (%)
6.4
7.1
0.7 pts
1.9 pts
Underemployment rate (%)
13.8
13.1
-0.7 pts
4.5 pts
Participation rate (%)
63.6
62.9
-0.7 pts
-3.2 pts
Monthly hours worked in all jobs ('000 000)
1,616.8
1,604.7
-12.1
-9.0%


EMPLOYED PEOPLE

The graph shows the seasonally adjusted estimate for the number of employed people in Australia from 11.7 million people in April 2015 to 13 million people in March  2020. This decreased to 12.2 million people in May 2020.


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

The graph shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate starting at 5.9 per cent in May 2015 droping to as low as 5.0 per cent in late 2018 and early 2019. It was 6.4 per cent in April 2020, increasing to 7.1 per cent in May 2020.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
  • Employment decreased 227,700 to 12,154,100 people. Full-time employment decreased 89,100 to 8,540,000 people and part-time employment decreased 138,600 to 3,614,100 people.
  • Unemployment increased 85,700 to 927,600 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased 0.7 pts to 7.1%.
  • Underemployment rate decreased 0.7 pts to 13.1%.
  • Underutilisation rate increased less than 0.1 pts to 20.2%.
  • Participation rate decreased by 0.7 pts to 62.9%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased 12.1 million hours to 1,604.7 million hours.


NOTES


FORTHCOMING ISSUES

IssueRelease Date
June 202016 July 2020
July 202013 August 2020
August 202017 September 2020
September 202015 October 2020
October 202019 November 2020
November 2020 17 December 2020


SURVEY RESPONSE REMAINS HIGH IN MAY

The May Labour Force Survey was run in respect of the first two weeks of May (ie. Sunday 3 May to Saturday 16 May), and collected over the three weeks from Sunday 10 May to Saturday 30 May.

Response remained high in May, with a similar level of response to April. Following analysis of the incoming rotation group in April, both the April and May incoming rotation groups have been given the standard influence in April and May estimates. For more information, please refer to ‘Insights from the original data’.

The ABS would like to thank Australians for their continued support in responding to our surveys during such a difficult time, given how critically important this information is.






QUARTERLY POPULATION REBENCHMARKING

The ABS has revised the original Labour Force series for the previous 19 months to reflect the latest available preliminary and final estimates of Estimated Resident Population. This quarterly process ensures that the Labour Force series promptly reflects any change in population trends and minimises the size of revisions that can occur when the series are rebenchmarked following each Census of Population and Housing.

In response to COVID-19 related changes in travel, the ABS is now revising preliminary Net Overseas Migration estimates more frequently. Net Overseas Migration estimates are a component of population estimates, from which Labour Force benchmarks are produced. These revisions have been incorporated into the quarterly rebenchmarking revisions. For more information, please refer to'Net Overseas Migration revisions in Labour Force benchmarks during COVID-19'.

Further information can be found in the Rebenchmarking Labour Force Estimates article published in the February 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).


CONTINUED SUSPENSION OF TREND ESTIMATES

Given the extent of change in Labour Force time series, the ABS has temporarily suspended trend series and moved to using forward factors for seasonal adjustment. All estimates within the commentary, including information for the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, refer to seasonally adjusted data. For more information, please refer to'Suspension of trend series and changes to seasonal adjustment during the COVID-19 period'.

Trend estimates will also be suspended in the quarterly Labour Force publication ( Cat. No 6291.0.55.003) due for release 25 June 2020.


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 APRIL 2020 AND MAY 2020

Monthly change
95% Confidence interval

Total Employment
-227,700
-287,500
to
-167,900
Total Unemployment
85,700
43,500
to
127,900
Unemployment rate
0.7 pts
0.3 pts
to
1.1 pts
Participation rate
-0.7 pts
-0.9 pts
to
-0.5) pts