6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Jul 2018 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/08/2018   
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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY JULY 2018


NATIONAL ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

Australia's trend estimate of employment increased by 26,900 persons in July 2018, with:

  • the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 1,300 persons;
  • the unemployment rate remaining steady at 5.4 per cent;
  • the participation rate remaining steady at 65.5 per cent after the June figure was revised down; and
  • the employment to population ratio remaining steady at 62.0 per cent.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 299,200 persons (or 2.4 per cent), which was above the average annual growth rate over the past 20 years of 2.0 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 0.5 percentage points to 62.0 per cent.

In monthly terms, trend employment increased by 26,900 persons between June and July 2018. This represents an increase of 0.21 per cent, which was above the monthly average growth rate over the past 20 years of 0.16 per cent.

Underpinning these net changes in employment is extensive dynamic change, which occurs each month in the labour market. In recent months there has generally been considerably more than 300,000 people entering employment, and more than 300,000 leaving employment. There is also further dynamic change in the hours that people work, which results in changes in the full-time and part-time composition of employment.

In net terms, trend full-time employment increased by 18,200 persons between June and July 2018, and part-time employment increased by 8,800 persons. Compared to a year ago, there are 177,500 more persons employed full-time and 121,700 more persons employed part-time. This compositional shift led to an increase in the part-time share of employment over the past 12 months, from 31.6 per cent to 31.8 per cent.

The trend estimate of monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 3.1 million hours (or 0.2 per cent) in July 2018, to 1,748.0 million hours. Monthly hours worked increased by 1.9 per cent over the past year, similar to the increase in employed persons (2.4 per cent). The average hours worked per employed person was 138.9 hours per month, or around 31.9 hours per week.

The trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4 per cent in July 2018. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 1,300 to 713,000 persons. Over the past year the trend unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points, with the number of unemployed decreasing by 12,600 persons.

The trend participation rate remained steady at 65.5 per cent in July 2018, and was 0.3 percentage points higher than in July 2017. The female participation rate remained steady at 60.4 per cent and the male participation rate increased by less than 0.1 percentage point to 70.9 per cent.

The labour force includes the total number of employed and unemployed persons. Over the past year, the labour force increased by 286,600 persons (2.2 per cent). This rate of increase was above the rate of increase for the total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over (314,000 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 remained steady at 78.0 per cent. The gap between male and female participation rates in this age range is less than 10 percentage points, at 82.8 and 73.2 per cent respectively, continuing the long term convergence of male and female participation.

The trend participation rate for 15-24 year olds (who are often referred to as the "youth" group in the labour market) remained steady at 67.7 per cent. The unemployment rate for this group decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 11.1 per cent in July 2018 and decreased by 1.6 percent 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 decreased by 3,900 persons from June to July 2018. The underlying composition of the net change was an increase of 19,300 persons in full-time employment and a decrease of 23,200 persons in part-time employment. Since July 2017, full-time employment increased by 194,700 persons, while part-time employment increased by 105,600 persons.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 4.0 million hours (or 0.2 per cent) in July 2018 to 1,749.6 million hours.

The seasonally adjusted employment to population ratio decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 62.1 per cent in July 2018, and increased by 0.5 percentage points from the same time last year.

Graph 1, Employment to population ratio, Persons, July 2008 to July 2018
Graph: Graph 1, Employment to population ratio, Persons, July 2008 to July 2018


The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 5.3 in July 2018. The participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 65.5 per cent.


STATE AND TERRITORY ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

In July 2018, increases in trend employment were observed in all states and territories. The largest increases were in Victoria (up 10,400 persons), followed by New South Wales (up 6,500 persons) and Queensland (up 4,500 persons).

Over the past year, increases in employment were also observed in all states and territories. The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 123,400 persons), Victoria (up 79,600 persons), Queensland (up 52,700 persons), and South Australia (up 18,200 persons). The highest annual employment growth rates were in the Northern Territory at 3.5 per cent, followed by New South Wales at 3.2 per cent and Victoria at 2.5 per cent. For most states and territories, year-on-year growth in trend employment was above their 20 year average, except for Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.

The monthly trend unemployment rate decreased by less than 0.1 percentage points in Western Australia (6.1 per cent) and the Northern Territory (4.0 per cent). The monthly trend unemployment rate remained unchanged in New South Wales (4.9 per cent), Victoria (5.1 per cent), Queensland (6.1 per cent), South Australia (5.6 per cent), Tasmania (6.2 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (3.6 per cent).

The largest increase in the trend participation rate was in the Northern Territory (up 0.2 percentage points to 77.2 percent).The monthly trend participation rate also increased in Tasmania (up 0.1 percentage point to 61.5 per cent). The monthly trend participation rate remained unchanged in New South Wales (64.9 per cent), Victoria (65.6 per cent), South Australia (62.8 per cent) and Western Australia (68.5 per cent). There were decreases in Queensland (down 0.1 percentage points from 65.8 per cent), and the Australian Capital Territory (down 0.1 percentage points from 70.7 per cent).


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest increase in employment was in Victoria (up 29,400 persons), followed by South Australia (up 1,700 persons). The largest decrease was in New South Wales (down 27,100 persons).

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased in New South Wales (up 0.2 percentage points to 4.9 per cent), Queensland (up 0.2 percentage points to 6.1 per cent), South Australia (up 0.2 percentage points to 5.7 per cent), and Tasmania (up 0.5 percentage points to 6.4 per cent). The largest decrease was in Victoria (down 0.6 percentage points to 5.0 per cent) followed by Western Australia (down 0.1 percentage points to 6.0 per cent).

The largest increase in the seasonally adjusted participation rate was in Tasmania (up 0.3 percentage points to 61.6 per cent). The seasonally adjusted participation rate decreased in New South Wales (down 0.4 percentage points to 64.7 per cent) and Western Australia (down 0.3 percentage points to 68.2 per cent).

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
4.9
4.9
4.7
4.9
Victoria
5.1
5.1
5.6
5.0
Queensland
6.1
6.1
6.0
6.1
South Australia
5.6
5.6
5.4
5.7
Western Australia
6.2
6.1
6.1
6.0
Tasmania
6.2
6.2
5.9
6.4
Northern Territory
4.1
4.0
np
np
Australian Capital Territory
3.6
3.6
np
np
Australia
5.4
5.4
5.4
5.3

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