6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Aug 2019 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/09/2019   
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MEDIA RELEASE


19 September 2019

Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Trend unemployment rate 5.3%


Australia's trend unemployment rate increased in August 2019 to 5.3 per cent, from a revised July 2019 figure, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: "Australia's trend unemployment rate increased to 5.3 per cent in August 2019. The trend participation rate increased further to 66.2 per cent, while employment continued to grow above the 20 year annual average."

Employment and hours

In August 2019, trend monthly employment increased by around 22,000 people. Full-time employment increased by just over 7,000 people and part-time employment increased by an estimated 15,000 people.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 0.3 million people (2.5 per cent) which was above the average annual growth over the past 20 years (2.0 per cent). Full-time employment increased by 2.4 per cent and part-time employment increased by 2.8 per cent over the past year.

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.1 per cent in August 2019 and by 1.7 per cent over the past year. This is in line with the 20 year average year-on-year growth of 1.7 per cent.

Underemployment and underutilisation

The trend monthly underemployment rate remained steady at 8.5 per cent in August, an increase of 0.1 percentage points over the past year. The trend underutilisation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points over the past year.

States and territories trend unemployment rate

The trend unemployment rate remained steady in most states and territories, except for South Australia (up 0.2 percentage points), Queensland and the Northern Territory (up 0.1 percentage points) and Western Australia (down 0.1 percentage points).

Over the year, unemployment rates fell in New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and increased in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Seasonally adjusted data

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by less than 0.1 percentage points to 5.3 per cent in August 2019, while the underemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 8.6 per cent. The seasonally adjusted participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 66.2 per cent, and the number of people employed increased by an estimated 35,000.

The net movement of employed in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms is underpinned by around 350,000 people entering and leaving employment in the month.

More details are in the August 2019 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). In addition, further information, including regional labour market information, can be found in the upcoming August 2019 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), due for release on 26 September 2019. Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003), which includes employment by occupation and industry, is also due for release on 26 September 2019.

These publications are available for free download (after release) from the ABS website: https://www.abs.gov.au.


Media note:
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 or media@abs.gov.au (8.30am - 5pm Monday - Friday AEST).
  • The ABS produces trend estimates to provide a more reliable indicator of the underlying behaviour of the Labour Force series. Trend estimates were introduced into the Labour Force series in the mid 1980s and are available back to February 1978. Trend estimates are considered the best indicators of the underlying behaviour in the labour market. See paragraphs 29 to 38 of the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
  • Labour Force Survey data is complemented by other ABS measures to build a comprehensive picture of the labour market.
  • Jobs in Australia (cat. no. 6160.0) data provides insights into all jobs held throughout the year.
  • Labour Accounts data provides the number of filled jobs at a point-in-time each quarter, while Labour Force data measures the number of people employed each month.
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