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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY APRIL 2019
Over the past year, trend employment increased by 310,500 persons (or 2.5%), 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 0.4 percentage points (pts) to 62.4%.
Trend employment increased by 20,700 persons between March and April 2019. This represents an increase of 0.16%, which was below 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 14,700 persons between March and April 2019, and part-time employment increased by 6,100 persons. Compared to a year ago, there are 260,400 more persons employed full-time and 50,200 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 31.8% to 31.4%.
GRAPH 1. EMPLOYMENT TO POPULATION RATIO, PERSONS, April 2009 to April 2019
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.1 pts to 5.2% in April 2019. The participation rate increased to 65.8%.
STATE AND TERRITORY ESTIMATES
In April 2019, increases in trend employment were observed in all states and territories except the Northern Territory (down 400 persons). The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 10,600 persons), Queensland (up 5,200 persons) and Victoria (up 4,400 persons).
Over the past year, increases in employment were observed in all states except Tasmania (down 2,200 persons). The Northern Territory (down 7,900 persons) and the Australian Capital Territory (down 200 persons) also recorded decreases through the year. The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 129,000 persons), Victoria (up 115,900 persons) and Queensland (up 40,300 persons). The highest annual employment growth rates were in Victoria at 3.6%, followed by New South Wales at 3.2% and Queensland at 1.6%. 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 the Australian Capital Territory (3.9%) and 0.1 pts in Tasmania (6.7%). The unemployment rate increased by less than 0.1 pts in Victoria (4.8%). The unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 pts in the Northern Territory (4.5%) and by less than 0.1 pts in Queensland (5.9%) .The monthly trend unemployment rate remained unchanged in New South Wales (4.3%), South Australia (6.0%) and Western Australia (6.1%).
The monthly trend participation rate increased by 0.1 pts in New South Wales (65.4%) and South Australia (63.2%) and by less than 0.1 pts in the Australian Capital Territory (69.5%). Decreases were observed in the Northern Territory (down 0.7 pts to 72.1%), Queensland (down by less than 0.1 pts to 65.5%) and Western Australia (down by less than 0.1 pts to 67.9%). The monthly trend participation rate remained unchanged in all remaining states.
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest increase in employment was in New South Wales (up 25,100 persons), followed by Western Australia (up 6,400 persons) and Queensland (up 5,400 persons). The only decrease was in Victoria (down 7,600 persons).
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased in New South Wales (up 0.2 pts to 4.5%), Victoria (up 0.2 pts to 4.9%), South Australia (up 0.2 pts to 6.1%), Western Australia (up 0.1 pts to 6.1%) and Tasmania (up 0.1 pts to 6.8%). The only decrease was observed in Queensland (down 0.2 pts to 5.9%),
The largest increases in the seasonally adjusted participation rate were in New South Wales (up 0.5 pts to 65.6%), Western Australia (up 0.4 pts to 68.2%), South Australia (up 0.3 pts to 63.4%) and Tasmania (up 0.3 pts to 60.7%). The seasonally adjusted participation rate decreased in Victoria (down 0.1 pts to 65.9%) and Queensland (down 0.1 pts to 65.5%).
Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the two territories.
TABLE 1. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, STATES AND TERRITORIES
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