6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Jul 2016 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/08/2016   
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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY JULY 2016


NATIONAL ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

Australia's trend estimate of employment increased by 11,800 persons in July 2016, with:

  • the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 1,200;
  • the unemployment rate remaining steady at 5.7 per cent;
  • the participation rate remaining unchanged at 64.8 per cent; and
  • the employment to population ratio remaining steady at 61.1 per cent.

Over the past 12 months, trend employment increased by 212,300 (or 1.8%), which was in line with the average percentage year-on-year growth over the last 20 years. Over the same 12 month period the trend employment to population ratio, which is a measure of how employed the population is, increased from 60.9 to 61.1 per cent.

In monthly terms, the trend employment increase of 11,800 persons between June and July 2016 represents a growth rate of 0.1%, which is still below the monthly average over the past 20 years of 0.15%. While trend employment growth was above the 20 year average from December 2014 to December 2015, the rate of growth in employment for the past six months has been below this average.

Trend part-time employment growth continued into July 2016, with an increase of 10,600 persons. Full-time employment increased by 1,200 persons, after five consecutive decreases. Despite this small increase in full-time employment, the strength in employment growth has continued to come from part-time employment, which has increased by 82,600 persons since January 2016 (while full-time employment has decreased by 21,600 over the same period).

The trend unemployment rate remained at 5.7 per cent in July 2016. Over the last year unemployment has decreased by 41,100 persons (5.4%).

Trend monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 0.9 million hours (0.1%) in July 2016, to 1,655.6 million hours. This was the second consecutive increase in monthly hours worked in all jobs following five months of consecutive declines. Monthly hours worked is still around 7.2 million hours (0.4%) below the series peak at December 2015.

The trend series smooths the more volatile seasonally adjusted estimates and provide the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2016 was 5.7 per cent (down 0.1 percentage points) and the labour force participation rate remained unchanged at 64.9 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 26,200. The increase in seasonally adjusted part-time employment and decrease in full-time employment in July 2016 more than offset the opposite movements that were observed in June 2016, in line with the trend series. Since January 2016, part-time employment has increased by 101,200 persons, with increases in both male and female part-time employment of 56,300 and 44,900, respectively. Over the same period full-time employment decreased by 19,900.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 3.7 million hours (0.2%) in July 2016, to 1,660.9 million hours.

The seasonally adjusted employment to population ratio increased by 0.1 percentage points, to 61.2% in July 2016.

Employment to population ratio, Persons, July 2006 to July 2016
Graph: Employment to population ratio, Persons, July 2006 to July 2016



STATE ESTIMATES

Trend employment in July 2016 was strongest in Victoria (up 7,900 persons) and New South Wales (up 6,500 persons). The largest decrease was in Queensland (down 1,500 persons).

In seasonally adjusted terms, all the states had increases in employment in July 2016 except for Tasmania, where employment decreased marginally, by 700 persons. The largest employment increase was in Queensland (up 12,300 persons).

The trend unemployment rate decreased in all the states and territories except Western Australia (up 0.1 percentage points). The largest decreases were in Northern Territory (down 0.2 percentage point) and South Australia (down 0.1 percentage points).

The decreases in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate were in South Australia (down 0.6 percentage points), Queensland and Tasmania (both down 0.3 percentage points) and New South Wales (down 0.1 percentage points). There were increases in Western Australia (up 0.5 percentage points) and Victoria (up 0.2 percentage points).

The largest trend participation rate increases were in Victoria, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory (up 0.1 percentage points). There were decreases in Queensland and Tasmania (down 0.1 percentage points).

The largest increases in the seasonally adjusted participation rate was in Western Australia (up 0.5 percentage points). There were decreases in the seasonally adjusted participation rates in Tasmania (down 0.4 percentage points), South Australia (down 0.2 percentage points) and New South Wales (down 0.1 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

Trend
Seasonally Adjusted
June
July
June
July
%
%
%
%

New South Wales
5.2
5.2
5.3
5.2
Victoria
5.7
5.7
5.7
5.9
Queensland
6.3
6.3
6.4
6.1
South Australia
6.7
6.6
7.0
6.4
Western Australia
5.9
6.0
5.7
6.3
Tasmania
6.4
6.4
6.6
6.2
Northern Territory
3.7
3.5
np
np
Australian Capital Territory
3.7
3.6
np
np
Australia
5.7
5.7
5.8
5.7

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