6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Apr 2020 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/05/2020   
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APRIL KEY FIGURES


Mar 20
Apr 20
Mar 20 to Apr 20
Apr 19 to Apr 20

Seasonally Adjusted
Employed people ('000)
13,013.0
12,418.7
-594.3
-3.1%
Unemployed people ('000)
718.8
823.3
104.5
16.7%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.2
6.2
1.0 pts
1.0 pts
Underemployment rate (%)
8.8
13.7
4.9 pts
5.2 pts
Participation rate (%)
66.0
63.5
-2.4 pts
-2.3 pts
Monthly hours worked in all jobs ('000 000)
1,789.7
1,625.8
-163.9
-8.0%


EMPLOYED PEOPLE

The graph shows the seasonally adjusted estimate for the number of employed people in Australia from 11.7 million people in April 2015 to 13 million people in March  2020. This decreased to 12.4 million people in April 2020.


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
The graph shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate starting at 6.1 per cent in April 2015 droping to as low as 5.0 per cent in late 2018 and early 2019. It was 5.2 per cent in March 2020, increasing to 6.2 per cent in April 2020.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
  • Employment decreased 594,300 to 12,418,700 people. Full-time employment decreased 220,500 to 8,656,900 people and part-time employment decreased 373,800 to 3,761,800 people.
  • Unemployment increased 104,500 to 823,300 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased 1.0 pts to 6.2%.
  • Underemployment rate increased 4.9 pts to 13.7%
  • Underutilisation rate increased 5.9 pts to 19.9%.
  • Participation rate decreased by 2.4 pts to 63.5%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased 163.9 million hours to 1,625.8 million hours.


NOTES


FORTHCOMING ISSUES

IssueRelease Date
May 202018 June 2020
June 202016 July 2020
July 202013 August 2020
August 202017 September 2020
September 202015 October 2020
October 202019 November 2020


MAJOR IMPACTS ON THE LABOUR MARKET FROM CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

From 22 March 2020, Australia saw the progressive introduction of major social distancing and other business-related restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Also, government support packages were announced, including changes to the mutual obligations of the JobSeeker program (announced on 24 March), and the temporary suspension of the requirement for people to actively look for work, and the JobKeeper wage subsidy (announced on 30 March).

Given the Labour Force Survey reference periods (that is, the weeks the data relates to) fall at the start of each month, the March and April estimates reflect this period of significant change in the labour market. The large month-to-month movements in April reflect a combination of the effects of the restrictions and also the effects of government, business and individual responses.


The diagram shows the timeline for March and April 2020 of events relating to COVID-19 including changes in government policy such as social distancing, non-essential services shutdown and the Labour Force processes.

In addition to the standard commentary, the ABS has included an expanded suite of spotlights to assist in the interpretation of the major changes in key labour market indicators in April.


LABOUR FORCE SURVEY METHODS DURING COVID-19

Survey response remains high

Labour Force Survey response remained high in April, with the small decline in response of less than 1,000 households largely concentrated within the incoming rotation group. Given the decrease in that group, the ABS made the decision to reduce the influence of the incoming rotation group this month, an approach last used for an incoming rotation group in Queensland, in September 2016. For more information, please refer to ‘Insights from the original data’.

Given the extent of change in Labour Force time series, the ABS has temporarily suspended trend series and moved to using forward factors for seasonal adjustment. All estimates within the commentary, including information for the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, refer to seasonally adjusted data. For more information, please refer to 'Suspension of trend series and changes to seasonal adjustment during the COVID-19 period'.

Changes to Net Overseas Migration revisions used in LFS benchmarks

In response to COVID-19 related changes in travel, the ABS will revise preliminary Net Overseas Migration estimates more frequently. Net Overseas Migration estimates are a component of population estimates, from which Labour Force benchmarks are produced. For more information, please refer to 'Net Overseas Migration revisions in Labour Force benchmarks during COVID-19'.


ROUNDING
Estimates of changes in the commentary have been calculated using un-rounded estimates, and may be different from, but are more accurate than, movement obtained from the rounded estimates. Graphs also depict un-rounded estimates.


SAMPLING ERROR
The estimates in this publication are based on a sample survey. Published estimates and movements are subject to sampling variability. Standard errors give a measure of sampling variability. The interval bounded by two standard errors is the 95% confidence interval, which provides a way of looking at the variability inherent in estimates. There is a 95% chance that the true value of the estimate lies within that interval.


MOVEMENTS IN SEASONALLY ADJUSTED SERIES BETWEEN MARCH 2020 AND APRIL 2020

Monthly change
95% Confidence interval

Total Employment
-594,300
-655,700
to
-532,900
Total Unemployment
104,500
64,300
to
144,700
Unemployment rate
1.0 pts
0.6 pts
to
1.4 pts
Participation rate
-2.4 pts
-2.8 pts
to
-2.0 pts