6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Sep 2016 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/10/2016   
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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY SEPTEMBER 2016


NATIONAL ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

Australia's trend estimate of employment increased by 3,900 persons in September 2016, with:

  • the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 3,100;
  • the unemployment rate decreasing by less than 0.1 percentage points to 5.6 per cent;
  • the participation rate remaining unchanged at 64.7 per cent; and
  • the employment to population ratio remaining unchanged at 61.0 per cent.

Over the past 12 months, trend employment increased by 152,600 (or 1.3 per cent), below the average percentage year-on-year growth over the last 20 years (1.8 per cent). Over the same period the trend employment to population ratio, which is a measure of how employed the population is, declined by 0.1 percentage point to 61.0 per cent.

In monthly terms, the trend employment increase of 3,900 persons between August and September 2016 represents a growth rate of 0.03 per cent, which remains below the monthly average over the past 20 years of 0.15 per cent. The rate of growth in employment has remained below this average for the past nine months.

Trend full-time employment decreased by 7,900 persons in September, reflecting continuing weakness over 2016. Full-time employment has fallen by 54,100 persons since December 2015. In comparison, part-time employment, which increased 11,800 in September, has increased by 130,000 persons since December 2015, with its share of total employment increasing from 31.1 per cent to 32.0 per cent.

Trend monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 2.2 million hours (0.13 per cent) in September 2016, to 1,660.4 million hours. This is the fourth consecutive increase in monthly hours worked in all jobs following five months of consecutive declines in the first half of 2016. Monthly hours worked is still around 2.4 million hours (-0.15%) below the series peak of 1,662.9 million hours in December 2015.

The trend unemployment rate declined by less than 0.1 percentage points in September 2016 to 5.6 per cent. Over the past year, unemployment has decreased by 44,800 persons.

Graph 1, Underemployment and Unemployment Rate, August 2006 to August 2016
Graph: Graph 1, Underemployment and Unemployment Rate, August 2006 to August 2016


The trend participation rate remained at 64.7 per cent in September 2016. Over the past year, the labour force, which includes both employed and unemployed persons, increased by 107,800 persons. This was below the 291,000 increase in the total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over, with the participation rate decreasing 0.4 percentage points, down from 65.1 per cent.

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 9,800 persons from August to September 2016. Full-time employment decreased by 53,000 persons, while part-time employment increased by 43,200 persons.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 4.0 million hours (0.24%) in September 2016, to 1,660.0 million hours.

The seasonally adjusted employment to population ratio decreased by 0.1 percentage points, to 60.9% in September 2016.

Graph 2, Employment to population ratio, Persons, September 2006 to September 2016
Graph: Graph 2, Employment to population ratio, Persons, September 2006 to September 2016


The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points in September 2016 to 5.6 per cent, while the labour force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 64.5 per cent.


STATE & TERRITORY ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

The largest increases in trend employment in August 2016 were seen in Victoria (up 6,500 persons) and Australian Capital Territory (up 400 persons). The largest decrease was in Western Australia (down 4,400 persons).

In relative terms, Victoria had the strongest growth (0.2 per cent), followed by Australian Capital Territory (0.2 per cent). The decrease in employment in Western Australia equates to around 0.3 per cent.

The trend unemployment rates remained unchanged in half of the states. New South Wales and Queensland both recorded decreases of 0.1 percentage points, while in Western Australia and Tasmania the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points.

The largest trend participation rate increases were in Victoria, Tasmania and Australian Capital Territory by 0.1 percentage points. There were decreases in Western Australia by 0.2 percentage points, while New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory decreased by 0.1 percentage points.

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 are not published for the two territories.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

In seasonally adjusted terms, New South Wales and Tasmania both had increases in employment in September 2016. The largest employment increase was in New South Wales (up 6,700 persons). The largest decrease was in Victoria (down 11,700 persons).

Decreases in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate were seen across all states except Victoria (up 0.2 percentage points). Tasmania recorded the largest decrease of 0.7 percentage points to 6.5 per cent. The remaining states recorded decreases of 0.1 percentage points.

There was an increase in the seasonally adjusted participation rate in Tasmania, up 0.1 percentage points. All other states recorded decreases in their seasonally adjusted participation rates with the largest falls in Western Australia (down 0.5 percentage points) and Queensland (down 0.3 percentage points).

Unemployment rate, States and Territories, Table 1

Trend
Seasonally Adjusted
August
September
August
September
%
%
%
%

New South Wales
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.9
Victoria
5.7
5.7
5.6
5.7
Queensland
6.2
6.1
6.2
6.0
South Australia
6.7
6.7
6.8
6.7
Western Australia
6.2
6.3
6.3
6.2
Tasmania
6.7
6.7
7.2
6.5
Northern Territory
3.5
3.4
np
np
Australian Capital Territory
3.5
3.5
np
np
Australia
5.7
5.6
5.7
5.6

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