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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY NOVEMBER 2019
Over the past year, trend employment increased by 268,900 people (or 2.1%), which was above the average annual growth rate over the past 20 years of 2.0%. Over the same 12 months, the trend employment to population ratio, which is a measure of how employed the population (aged 15 years and over) is, increased by 0.3 percentage points (pts) to 62.6%.
Trend employment increased by 17,400 people (0.13%) between October and November 2019. This was below the monthly average growth rate over the last 20 years of 0.16%.
Underpinning these net changes in employment is extensive dynamic change, which occurs each month in the labour market. In recent months there has been more than 300,000 people entering and 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 8,300 people between October and November 2019, and part-time employment increased by 9,000 people. Compared to a year ago, there were 140,800 more people employed full-time and 128,100 more people employed part-time. This compositional change has led to an increase in the part-time share of employment from 31.4% to 31.8%.
The trend estimate of monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 2.3 million hours (0.1%) to 1,782.8 million hours in November 2019. Over the past year, monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 1.6%, below the 2.1% increase in employed people. In November, the average hours worked per employed person was around 137.5 hours per month or around 31.7 hours per week.
The trend unemployment rate decreased by less than 0.1 pts to 5.2% in November 2019. The number of unemployed people decreased by 1,200 in November 2019 to 716,300 people, and by 44,000 people since November 2018.
The trend participation rate remained steady at 66.1% in November 2019, and was 0.5 pts higher than in November 2018. The female participation rate remained steady at 61.2% and the male participation rate remained steady at 71.1%.
The labour force includes the total number of employed and unemployed people. Over the past 12 months, the labour force increased by 312,900 people (2.3%). This rate of increase was above the rate of increase for the total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over (1.6%).
The trend participation rate for 15-64 year olds, which controls (in part) for the effects of an aging population, remained steady at 78.7%. The gap between male and female participation rates in this age group was less than 10 pts, at 83.2% and 74.2% 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 68.1%. The unemployment rate for this group remained steady at 11.7% from October to November 2019, and has increased by 0.3 pts since November 2018.
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 39,900 people in November 2019 to 12,954,400 people. The underlying composition of the net change was an increase of 4,200 people in full-time employment and an increase of 35,700 people in part-time employment. Since November 2018, full-time employment increased by 144,700 people, while part-time employment increased by 110,200 people.
Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 2.9 million hours (or 0.2%) in November 2019 to 1,781.2 million hours.
The seasonally adjusted employment to population increased by 0.1 pts to 62.6% in November 2019, and increased by 0.2 pts since November 2018.
GRAPH 1. EMPLOYMENT TO POPULATION RATIO, PEOPLE, November 2009 to November 2019
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 pts to 5.2% in November 2019. The participation rate remained steady at 66.0%.
STATE AND TERRITORY ESTIMATES
In November 2019, increases in trend employment were observed in all states and territories except South Australia (down 600 people). The largest increases were recorded in Victoria (up 9,300 people), and Queensland (up 5,900 people).
Over the past year, increases in employment were observed in all states and territories except the Northern Territory (down 1,600 people). The largest increases were in Victoria (up 99,900 people), New South Wales (up 80,900 people), and Queensland (up 63,100 people). The highest annual trend employment growth rates were in the Australian Capital Territory at 4.0%, followed by Victoria at 3.0%, Queensland at 2.5% and New South Wales at 2.0%. The annual trend employment growth rates in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory were above their respective 20 year average year-on-year growth in trend employment.
The monthly trend unemployment rate increased by 0.2 pts in the Northern Territory (5.8%), and by less than 0.1 pts in New South Wales (4.7%) and Western Australia (5.8%). The monthly trend unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 pts in Tasmania (6.1%) while all remaining states and the Australian Capital Territory recorded no change.
The monthly trend participation rate increased by 0.3 pts in the Northern Territory (74.2%), by 0.2 pts in Tasmania (60.9%), and by less than 0.1 pts in Victoria (66.4%). The monthly trend participation rate decreased by 0.1 pts in South Australia (62.9%), while all remaining states and the Australian Capital Territory recorded no change.
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
In seasonally adjusted terms, from October to November 2019, the largest increases in employment were recorded in Queensland (up 17,300 people) and Victoria (up 13,700 people). The only decrease was in New South Wales (down 2,800 people).
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.1 pts in South Australia (6.3%), and by less than 0.1 pts in Western Australia (5.8%). The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 pts in New South Wales (4.7%) and Victoria (4.6%), and by 0.1 pts in Queensland (6.3%).
The seasonally adjusted participation rate increased by 0.5 pts in Tasmania (61.1%), by 0.3 pts in Queensland (66.2%), and by 0.2 pts in South Australia (62.9%). The seasonally adjusted participation rate decreased by 0.2 pts in New South Wales (65.3%), while Victoria and Western Australia recorded no change.
Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the two territories.
TABLE 1. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, STATES AND TERRITORIES
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