6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, September 2018 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/10/2018   
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18 October 2018

Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Trend unemployment rate at six-year low

The trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2 per cent in the month of September 2018 after the August figure was revised down, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"Today's figures continue to show a gradual decrease in the trend unemployment rate that began in late 2014. The trend unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent is the lowest it has been since mid 2012." said the Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman.

Chart of the trend and seasonally adjusted unemployment rates from January 2012 to September 2018.

Employment and hours

Trend employment increased by around 26,000 persons in September 2018 with full-time employment increasing by over 21,000 persons.

The trend participation rate remained steady at 65.6 per cent in September 2018.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by over 290,000 persons or 2.4 per cent, which was above the average year-on-year growth over the past 20 years (2.0 per cent).

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.2 per cent in September 2018 and by 1.8 per cent over the past year.

States and territories

The states and territories with the strongest annual growth in trend employment were New South Wales (3.4 per cent) and Victoria (2.6 per cent). New South Wales and Victoria were the only states and territories to record year-on-year growth above their 20-year averages.

Seasonally adjusted data

The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by around 5,600 persons in September 2018. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.0 per cent and the labour force participation rate decreased to 65.4 per cent.

The net movement of employed in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms is underpinned by well over 300,000 people entering employment, and more than 300,000 leaving employment in the month.

New underemployment data

The trend underemployment rate decreased to 8.3 per cent in September 2018 and the trend underutilisation rate decreased to 13.5 per cent.

From September 2018 the ABS will publish monthly trend and seasonally adjusted data on underemployment and underutilisation with Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). A feature article on underemployment is published with todays release, see Underemployment in Australia.

More details are in the September 2018 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). In addition, further information, including regional labour market information, can be found in the upcoming September 2018 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), due for release on 25 October 2018.

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 28 to 37 of the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
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  • 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.