6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Aug 2015 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/09/2015   
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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY AUGUST 2015


NATIONAL ESTIMATES

Australia's unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points to 6.2% in August 2015 (seasonally adjusted) with:

  • the number of employed persons increasing by 17,400 to 11,775,800, and
  • the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 14,400 to 781,100,
  • the participation rate decreasing 0.1 percentage points to 65.0%.

The seasonally adjusted underemployment rate was unchanged at 8.4% in August 2015. Combined with the unemployment rate, the latest seasonally adjusted estimate of total labour force underutilisation was unchanged at 14.3% in August 2015. In trend terms, the underemployment rate was unchanged at 8.4% in August 2015 and total labour force underutilisation was unchanged at 14.3% from a revised May 2015.

In trend terms the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.2% in August 2015. The number of employed persons in August 2015 increased by 15,300 to 11,765,400 and the number of unemployed persons increased by 6,500 to 778,400 in trend terms. The trend participation rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 65.0% in August 2015.

The employment to population ratio, which expresses the number of employed persons as a percentage of the civilian population aged 15 years and over, was 61.0% in August 2015 (seasonally adjusted), unchanged from July 2015. In trend terms, the employment to population ratio increased less than 0.1 percentage points to 61.0%.

Employment to population ratio, Persons, March 2014 to August 2015
Graph: Employment to population ratio, Persons, March 2014 to August 2015


Seasonally adjusted full-time employment increased by 11,500 persons to 8,141,000 persons while part-time employment increased by 5,900 to 3,634,800 persons in August 2015. The increase in total employment resulted from:
  • an increase in male full-time employment, up 10,100 persons
  • an increase in female part-time employment, up 6,500 persons
  • an increase in female full-time employment, up 1,400 persons
  • a decrease in male part-time employment, down 600 persons.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased 0.6 million hours in August 2015 to 1,623.8 million hours.


STATE ESTIMATES

The largest absolute increases in seasonally adjusted employment were in Queensland (up 11,200 persons), New South Wales (up 9,200 persons) and Western Australia (up 7,000 persons). The only state with a decrease in seasonally adjusted employment was Victoria (down 6,600 persons).

The only decrease in the seasonally adjusted participation rate was in Victoria (down 0.5 percentage points), while the largest increase was in Tasmania (up 0.5 percentage points).

The largest decreases in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate were in Victoria (down 0.3 percentage points), Western Australia (down 0.3 percentage points) and Tasmania (down 0.2 percentage points).

Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the territories and the ABS recommends using trend estimates to analyse the underlying behaviour of the series.

Unemployment rate, States and Territories, July 2015 and August 2015

Trend
Seasonally Adjusted
July
August
July
August
%
%
%
%

New South Wales
5.9
5.9
6.0
6.0
Victoria
6.1
6.2
6.4
6.1
Queensland
6.4
6.4
6.5
6.5
South Australia
7.9
8.1
7.9
7.9
Western Australia
6.0
6.1
6.4
6.1
Tasmania
6.6
6.5
6.6
6.4
Northern Territory
4.4
4.4
np
np
Australian Capital Territory
4.6
4.8
np
np
Australia
6.2
6.2
6.3
6.2

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



GROSS FLOWS

Gross flows (Table 17) highlight the change in labour force status of individuals between last month and this month. Gross flows are derived from the sample that is common between two consecutive months which, after taking account of sample rotation and varying non-response each month, is approximately 80% of the sample. However, the level and movement estimates produced from the Gross flows will not necessarily represent 80% of the level and movement estimates in a given month from the whole sample. Despite this limitation, analysis of the gross flows data can provide an indication, in original terms, of underlying movements in the labour market.

In original terms between July and August 2015 the number of persons employed decreased by 57,600 with gross flows showing a net decrease of 15,100. The decrease shown in the gross flows comprised:
  • 257,000 persons whose status changed from employed to not in the labour force,
  • 90,300 persons whose status changed from employed to unemployed,
  • 119,100 persons whose status changed from unemployed to employed, and
  • 213,200 persons whose status changed from not in the labour force to employed.

In original terms between July and August 2015 the number of persons unemployed decreased by 9,400 with gross flows showing a net decrease of 18,800. The decrease shown in the gross flows comprised:
  • 130,400 persons whose status changed from unemployed to not in the labour force,
  • 90,300 persons whose status changed from employed to unemployed,
  • 119,100 persons whose status changed from unemployed to employed, and
  • 140,400 persons whose status changed from not in the labour force to unemployed.

As the gross flows data are presented in original terms they are not directly comparable to the seasonally adjusted and trend data discussed elsewhere in the commentary.