6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Jul 2017 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/08/2017   
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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY JULY 2017


NATIONAL ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

  • Australia's trend estimate of employment increased by 26,000 persons in July 2017, with:
  • the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 1,800 persons;
  • the unemployment rate remaining steady at 5.6 per cent;
  • the participation rate remaining at 65.0 per cent in rounded terms; and
  • the employment to population ratio increasing by 0.1 percentage points to 61.4 per cent.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 259,200 persons (or 2.2 per cent). Over the same 12 month period the trend employment to population ratio, which is a measure of how employed the population (aged 15 years and over) is, increased by 0.4 percentage points to 61.4 per cent, the highest it has been since April 2013.

In monthly terms, trend employment increased by 26,000 persons between June 2017 and July 2017. This represents an increase of 0.2 per cent, which is above the monthly average growth rate over the past 20 years of 0.16 per cent.

Trend full-time employment increased by 28,600 persons in July, while part-time employment decreased by 2,600 persons. Compared to a year ago, there are 211,800 more persons employed full-time and 47,400 more persons employed part time. The part-time share of employment has decreased 0.4 percentage points over the last 6 months, from 31.9 per cent to 31.5 per cent.

The trend estimate of monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 5.2 million hours (or 0.3 per cent) in July 2017, to 1,696.4 million hours. Monthly hours worked have increased by 2.5 per cent over the past year, slightly above the estimate of employed persons. As a result, the average hours worked per employed person has also increased.

The trend unemployment rate remained at 5.6 per cent in July 2017 while the number of unemployed persons decreased by 1,800.

The trend participation rate increased by less than 0.1 percentage points to remain at 65.0 per cent in rounded terms in July 2017.

The labour force includes the total number of employed and unemployed persons. Over the past year, the labour force has increased by 264,500 persons (2.1 per cent). This rate of increase is above the rate of increase for the total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over (320,000 persons, or 1.6 per cent).

The trend participation rate for 15-64 year olds, which controls (in part) for the effects of an ageing population, increased by 0.1 percentage points to 77.4 per cent in July 2017.

The trend participation rate for 15-24 year olds increased by 0.1 percentage points to 66.8 per cent in July 2017. The unemployment rate for this group increased by less than 0.1 percentage points to remain at 13.0 per cent in July 2017, and increased by 0.1 percentage points over the year.

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

Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 27,900 persons from June to July 2017. The underlying composition of the net increase was a decrease of 20,300 persons in full-time employment and a 48,200 increase in part-time employment. Since July 2016, full-time employment has increased by 197,700 persons, while part-time employment has increased by 41,600 persons.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased by 14.4 million hours in July 2017 to 1,690.4 million hours.

The seasonally adjusted employment to population ratio increased 0.1 per cent to at 61.4 per cent in July 2017, representing an increase of 0.2 percentage points from the same time last year.

Graph 1, Employment to population ratio, Persons, July 2007 to July 2017
Graph: Graph 1, Employment to population ratio, Persons, July 2007 to July 2017


The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by less than 0.1 percentage points to 5.6 per cent in July 2017. The labour force participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 65.1 per cent.


STATE AND TERRITORY ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

In July 2017, increases in trend employment were observed in all states. By comparison, employment remained steady in the Australian Capital Territory and decreased in the Northern Territory (down 1,600 persons). The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 10,600 persons) and Queensland (up 8,300 persons).

Over the past year, increases in employment were also observed in all states and territories except Northern Territory (down 600 persons). The largest increases were in Victoria (up 94,100 persons), Queensland (up 64,000 persons) and New South Wales (up 49,000 persons). The highest annual employment growth rates were in Tasmania (4.0 per cent), Victoria (3.1 per cent), Queensland (2.7 per cent) and Western Australia (2.3 per cent).

Increases in the trend unemployment rate were seen in the Australian Capital Territory (up 0.3 percentage points) and Tasmania (up less than 0.1 percentage points). The largest recorded decreases were in Western Australia (down 0.1 percentage points) and South Australia (down 0.1 percentage points).

The trend participation rate increased in all states and territories except the Northern Territory (down 1.0 percentage points) and South Australia (down less than 0.1 percentage points). The largest increase was in Tasmania (up 0.2 percentage points), followed by New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory, which all recorded increases of 0.1 percentage points.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest increase in employment was in Queensland (up 27,000 persons).

The largest increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was in Tasmania (up 0.7 percentage points), followed by Victoria (up 0.1 percentage points) and New South Wales (up 0.1 percentage points). South Australia recorded the largest decrease in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (down 0.4 percentage points), followed by Queensland (down 0.3 percentage points).

The largest increase in the seasonally adjusted participation rate occurred in Queensland (up 0.5 percentage points), while the largest decreases in the seasonally adjusted participation rate were observed in Western Australia (down 0.3 percentage points) and South Australia (down 0.2 percentage points).

Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the two territories.

Table 1, Unemployment rate, States and Territories

Trend
Seasonally Adjusted
June
July
June
July
%
%
%
%

New South Wales
4.8
4.8
4.8
5.0
Victoria
6.0
6.0
5.9
6.1
Queensland
6.3
6.3
6.5
6.2
South Australia
6.7
6.6
6.6
6.2
Western Australia
5.5
5.4
5.6
5.4
Tasmania
6.0
6.1
5.6
6.3
Northern Territory
3.2
3.2
np
np
Australian Capital Territory
4.5
4.8
np
np
Australia
5.6
5.6
5.7
5.6

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