1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Unemployment rate(a)
Graph Image for Unemployment rate(a)

Footnote(s): (a) From 1978: annual average of monthly data. Prior to 1978: annual average of quarterly data.

Source(s): ABS Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0); ABS Labour Force Historical Timeseries, Australia, 1966 to 1984 (cat. no. 6204.0.55.001)


The unemployment rate has been chosen as the headline indicator for the work dimension of progress because of its relevance to the economic and social aspects of work. The unemployment rate is the most widely used measure of underutilised labour resources in the economy and is sensitive to changes in economic conditions. Generally, in recent decades, the unemployment rate has tended to rise quickly during economic downturns and fall slowly during periods of economic recovery.

The unemployment rate has fluctuated considerably in the four decades since 1969 when it averaged just under 2%, to rise to 10% by 1983. After another peak in 1993 (10.6%), the unemployment rate steadily declined to 4.2% in 2008, reflecting strong economic growth in Australia. It then rose to 5.6% in 2009 in the wake of the recent global financial crisis.


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