Labour Force, Australia

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Headline estimates of employment, unemployment, underemployment, participation and hours worked from the monthly Labour Force Survey

Reference period
February 2022

Key statistics

Seasonally adjusted estimates for February 2022:

  • unemployment rate fell to 4.0%.
  • participation rate increased to 66.4%.
  • employment increased to 13,372,000.
  • employment to population ratio increased to 63.8%.
  • underemployment rate decreased to 6.6%.
  • monthly hours worked increased by 149 million hours.
Jan-2022Feb-2022Monthly changeMonthly change (%)Yearly changeYearly change (%)
Seasonally adjusted
Employed people13,294,60013,372,00077,4000.6%395,4003.0%
Unemployed people581,800563,300-18,500-3.2%-244,800-30.3%
Unemployment rate4.2%4.0%-0.2 ptsna-1.8 ptsna
Underemployment rate6.7%6.6%-0.1 ptsna-1.8 ptsna
Participation rate66.2%66.4%0.2 ptsna0.4 ptsna
Monthly hours worked in all jobs 1,665 million 1,813 million149 million8.9%49 million2.8%

Estimates of changes throughout this release are calculated using un-rounded level estimates and may be different from, but are more accurate than, movements obtained from the rounded level estimates.

Survey impacts and changes

Articles and other information

The ABS has again included more detailed information given the interest in understanding:

  • hours worked 
  • people who were not employed but indicated they were attached to a job

This detailed information can be found in:

For a list of previously published LFS articles, see the Article archive.

The ABS is also continuing to include data cubes EM2a and EM2b in this release. These two data cubes are usually only released in Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, but will continue to be released in the headline release over the coming months, to enable more detailed analysis of changes in hours worked and the reasons that people are working reduced or no hours.

Additional spreadsheets and pivot tables are published in Labour Force, Australia, Detailed one week after this release, while longitudinal labour force microdata are released in the ABS DataLab, on 24 March 2022 (see Microdata: Longitudinal Labour Force, Australia).

Quarterly rebenchmarking of labour force statistics

Seasonal adjustment and trend estimates

Survey response and timeline - Floods in February


In seasonally adjusted terms, in February 2022:

  • unemployment rate fell to 4.0%.
  • unemployment rate was 1.2 pts below March 2020.
  • unemployed people decreased by 18,500 to 563,300. 
  • unemployed people was 159,900 lower than March 2020.
  • youth unemployment rate increased by 0.3 pts to 9.3%.
  • youth unemployment rate was 2.3 pts lower than March 2020.


In seasonally adjusted terms, in February 2022:

  • employment increased by 77,400 people (0.6%) to 13,372,000 people.
  • employment was 376,500 people (2.9%) higher than March 2020.


Flows into and out of employment

Full-time and part-time employment

In seasonally adjusted terms, in February 2022:

  • full-time employment increased by 121,900 to 9,228,000 people, and part-time employment decreased by 44,500 to 4,144,000 people.
  • part-time share of employment was 31.0%, 0.8 pts lower than in March 2020.


Employment-to-population ratio

In seasonally adjusted terms, in February 2022, the employment-to-population ratio:

  • increased by 0.3 pts to 63.8%.
  • higher than March 2020 by 1.4 pts.

The employment-to-population ratio provides a measure of employment relative to the size of the population.

Hours worked

In seasonally adjusted terms, in February 2022, monthly hours worked in all jobs:

  • ​​​​​increased by 148.7 million hours (8.9%) to 1,813 million hours.
  • increased by 48.4 million hours (2.7%) from March 2020. 

See the article Insights into hours worked for more.


In seasonally adjusted terms, in February 2022, the participation rate:

  • increased by 0.2 pts to 66.4%.

  • increased by 0.2 pts for men to 70.7% and increased by 0.2 pts to 62.4% for women.

  • higher than March 2020 by 0.6 pts.


In seasonally adjusted terms, in February 2022:

  • underemployment rate decreased by 0.1 pts to 6.6%.
  • underemployment rate was 2.2 pts lower than March 2020. 
  • underutilisation rate decreased by 0.3 pts to 10.6%.

States and Territories

February 2022, Seasonally adjusted
New South WalesVictoriaQueenslandSouth AustraliaWestern AustraliaTasmaniaNorthern TerritoryAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia
Employed people4,215,3003,484,0002,712,400880,2001,456,500265,600132,600234,30013,372,000
Employed people - monthly change1.4%0.5%0.5%0.5%0.0%2.4%0.5%1.4%0.6%
Employment to population ratio63.0%64.3%63.9%60.2%67.1%59.1%70.0%68.5%63.8%
Employment to population ratio - monthly change0.8 pts0.3 pts0.2 pts0.2 pts-0.1 pts1.3 pts0.3 pts0.9 pts0.3 pts
Unemployment rate3.7%4.2%4.3%5.0%4.1%3.9%3.5%3.0%4.0%
Unemployment rate - monthly change-0.5 pts0.1 pts-0.1 pts0.2 pts0.4 pts0.1 pts-0.2 pts-0.2 pts-0.2 pts
Underemployment rate6.4%6.1%7.3%7.5%6.8%8.1%6.0%5.0%6.6%
Underemployment rate - monthly change0.0 pts0.0 pts0.1 pts-0.5 pts-0.4 pts0.2 pts0.6 pts0.2 pts-0.1 pts
Participation rate65.4%67.1%66.7%63.4%70.0%61.5%72.5%70.6%66.4%
Participation rate - monthly change0.5 pts0.4 pts0.2 pts0.4 pts0.2 pts1.4 pts0.1 pts0.8 pts0.2 pts

Rotation group analysis

Sample composition and rotation

Estimates for the incoming and outgoing rotation groups

States and territories

Managing COVID-19 impacts on incoming rotation groups

Comparability with seasonally adjusted data

Contribution from sample components to estimates

Data downloads

Labour Force Survey results are released in three stages.

  1. Spreadsheets of the headline indicators are published in this release
  2. Additional, more detailed spreadsheets and pivot tables are published in Labour Force, Australia, Detailed one week after this first release
  3. Longitudinal labour force microdata are released in the ABS DataLab on a monthly basis, one day after the detailed release (see Microdata: Longitudinal Labour Force, Australia)

See the Survey output section of Labour Force, Australia methodology for more information.

Labour Force status

Data files

Hours worked

Data files

Underemployment and underutilisation

Data files

Flows into and out of employment

GM1 - Labour force status and Gross changes (flows) by Age, Sex, State and Territory, February 1991 onwards

All time series spreadsheets

All time series spreadsheets


Data Explorer datasets

Caution: Data in the Data Explorer is currently released after the 11:30am release on the ABS website. Please check the time period when using Data Explorer.

For information on Data Explorer and how it works, see the Data Explorer user guide.

Labour force status by Sex, State and Territory - Number of people employed, unemployed and not in the labour force, monthly, February 1978 and onwards

Article archive

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6202.0.

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