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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY MAY 2015
The seasonally adjusted underemployment rate was 8.5% in May 2015, unchanged from February 2015. Combined with the May 2015 unemployment rate of 6.0%, the latest seasonally adjusted estimate of total labour force underutilisation was 14.5%, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from February 2015. In trend terms, the underemployment rate was unchanged at 8.5% in May 2015 and total labour force underutilisation decreased 0.1 percentage points to 14.7%.
In trend terms the unemployment rate decreased less than 0.1 percentage points to 6.0% in May 2015. The number of employed persons in May 2015 increased by 15,700 to 11,747,200 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 3,400 to 756,300 in trend terms. The trend participation rate was unchanged at 64.8% in May 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, increased 0.1 percentage points (based on unrounded estimates) to 60.9% (seasonally adjusted) in May 2015. In trend terms, the employment to population ratio was unchanged at 60.8%.
Seasonally adjusted full-time employment increased by 14,700 persons to 8,128,600 persons while part-time employment increased by 27,300 to 3,630,900 persons in May 2015. The increase in total employment resulted from:
Seasonally adjusted aggregate monthly hours worked increased 2.2 million hours (0.1%) in May 2015 to 1,631.8 million hours.
The largest absolute increases in seasonally adjusted employment were in Queensland (up 18,700 persons) and New South Wales (up 15,300 persons).
The largest increase in the seasonally adjusted participation rate was in South Australia (up 0.4 percentage points), while the largest decrease was in Tasmania (down 0.3 percentage points).
The largest decreases in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate were in Western Australia (down 0.5 percentage points), Queensland (down 0.3 percentage points) and Tasmania (down 0.3 percentage points). The largest increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was in South Australia (up 0.4 percentage points). The ABS recommends using trend estimates to analyse the underlying behaviour of the series.
Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the territories.
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 April and May 2015 the number of persons employed increased by 74,100 with gross flows showing a net increase of 92,900. The increase shown in the gross flows comprised:
In original terms between April and May 2015 the number of persons unemployed decreased by 34,700 with gross flows showing a net decrease of 41,900. The decrease shown in the gross flows comprised:
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.
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