6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Jul 2019 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/08/2019   
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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY JULY 2019


NATIONAL ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

Australia's trend estimate of employment increased by 24,600 persons in July 2019, with:
the number of unemployed persons increasing by 6,600 persons;
the unemployment rate increasing by less than 0.1 pts to 5.3%;
the underemployment rate remaining steady at 8.4%;
the underutilisation rate remaining steady at 13.6%;
the participation rate increasing by 0.1 pts to 66.1%; and
the employment to population ratio remaining steady at 62.6%.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 339,200 persons (or 2.7%), which was above the average annual growth rate over the past 20 years of 2.0%. 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 0.6 percentage points (pts) to 62.6%.

Trend employment increased by 24,600 persons between June and July 2019. This represents an increase of 0.19%, which was higher than the monthly average growth rate over the past 20 years of 0.17%.

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.

Trend full-time employment increased by 15,100 persons between June and July 2019, and part-time employment increased by 9,600 persons. Compared to a year ago, there are 257,000 more persons employed full-time and 82,200 more persons employed part-time. This compositional shift led to a decrease in the part-time share of employment over the past 12 months, from 31.7% to 31.5%.

The trend estimate of monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 0.5 million hours (or 0.0%) in July 2019 to 1,776.6 million hours. Monthly hours worked increased by 1.8% over the past year, which was below the increase in employed persons (2.7%). The average hours worked per employed person was 137.6 hours per month, or around 31.7 hours per week.

The trend unemployment rate increased by less than 0.1 pts to 5.3% in July 2019. The number of unemployed persons increased by 6,600 to 715,600 persons. The trend unemployment rate is the same as July 2018 (5.3%), with the number of unemployed increasing by 11,500 persons from the same time last year.

The trend participation rate increased 0.1 pts to 66.1% in July 2019, and was 0.6 pts higher than in July 2018. The male and female participation rates both increased in July 2019 by 0.1 pts to 71.3% and 61.1% respectively.

The labour force includes the total number of employed and unemployed persons. Over the past year, the labour force increased by 350,700 persons (2.6%). This increase was above the rate of increase for the total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over (360,900 persons, or 1.8%).

The trend participation rate for 15-64 year olds, which controls (in part) for the effects of an aging population remained steady at 78.6%. The gap between male and female participation rates in this age range is less than 10 pts at 83.3% and 74.0% 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) increased 0.2 pts to 68.4%. The unemployment rate for this group remained steady at 12.0% in July 2019 and has increased by 0.7% since July last 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 41,100 persons in July 2019 to 12,908,200 persons. The underlying composition of the net change was an increase of 34,500 persons in full-time employment and an increase of 6,700 persons in part-time employment. Since July 2018, full-time employment has increased by 255,600 persons, while part-time employment increased by 77,000 persons.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 8.8 million hours (or 0.5%) in July to 1,780.1 million hours.

The seasonally adjusted employment to population ratio increased by 0.1 pts to 62.6% in July 2019, and increased by 0.5 pts from the same time last year.


GRAPH 1. EMPLOYMENT TO POPULATION RATIO, PERSONS, July 2009 to July 2019

Graph shows, in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms, July 2009 employment to population ratio at 61.6 per cent increased to 62.4 per cent in March 2010 before decreasing to 60.7 per cent in August 2014 before increasing to 62.6 per cent in July 2019.



The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2% in July 2019. The participation rate increased 0.1 pts to 66.1%.


STATE AND TERRITORY ESTIMATES

TREND ESTIMATES

In July 2019, increases in trend employment were observed in all states and territories. The largest increases were recorded in New South Wales (up 11,500 persons), Queensland (up 6,100 persons), Victoria (up 5,000 persons), and Western Australia (up 3,700 persons).

Over the past year, increases in employment were observed in all states and territories except Tasmania (down 2,200 persons) and the Northern Territory (down 7,900 persons). The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 138,700 persons), Victoria (up 109,700 persons) and Queensland (up 51,700 persons). The highest annual employment growth rates were in New South Wales at 3.5% followed by Victoria at 3.3%, and Queensland at 2.1%. Year-on-year growth in trend employment was above the 20 year average in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

The monthly trend unemployment rate increased by 0.2 pts in South Australia (6.3%) and 0.1 pts in Queensland (6.4%) and the Northern Territory (4.9%). The monthly trend unemployment rate remained unchanged in all other states and territories.

The monthly trend participation rate increased by 0.1 pts in New South Wales (66.0%), Queensland (66.0%) Western Australia (68.3%) and the Australian Capital Territory (70.1%). The participation rate decreased in the Northern Territory (down 0.2 pts to 71.3%). The monthly trend participation rate remained unchanged in all remaining states.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest increases in employment were in Queensland (up 19,900 persons), New South Wales (up 13,000 persons), and Victoria (up 3,600 persons). The largest decrease was in Western Australia (down 4,200 persons).

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased in South Australia (up 0.9 pts to 6.9%) and Western Australia (up 0.2 pts to 5.9%), Decreases were recorded in Tasmania (down 0.8 pts to 6.0%), New South Wales (down 0.2 pts to 4.4%) and Queensland (down 0.1 pts to 6.4%), with Victoria recording no change.

The seasonally adjusted participation rate increased in South Australia (up 0.4 pts to 63.6%) and Queensland (up 0.3 pts to 66.1%). The seasonally adjusted participation rate decreased in Western Australia (down 0.2 pts to 68.4%), Tasmania (down 0.2 pts to 60.0%) and Victoria (down less than 0.1 pts to 66.0%). The seasonally adjusted participation rate remained unchanged in New South Wales.


Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the two territories.

TABLE 1. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, STATES AND TERRITORIES

Trend
Seasonally Adjusted
June 2019
July 2019
June 2019
July 2019
%
%
%
%

New South Wales
4.5
4.5
4.6
4.4
Victoria
4.8
4.8
4.8
4.8
Queensland
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.4
South Australia
6.2
6.3
6.0
6.9
Western Australia
5.9
5.9
5.7
5.9
Tasmania
6.7
6.7
6.8
6.0
Northern Territory
4.8
4.9
np
np
Australian Capital Territory
3.5
3.5
np
np
Australia
5.2
5.3
5.2
5.2

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