Labour Force, Australia

Latest release

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

Reference period
May 2024
Released
13/06/2024
  • Next Release 18/07/2024
    Labour Force, Australia, June 2024
  • Next Release 15/08/2024
    Labour Force, Australia, July 2024
  • Next Release 19/09/2024
    Labour Force, Australia, August 2024
  • View all releases

Key statistics

In trend terms, in May 2024:

  • unemployment rate increased to 4.0%. 
  • participation rate remained at 66.7%.
  • employment increased to 14,355,100. 
  • employment to population ratio remained at 64.1%.
  • underemployment rate remained at 6.7%.
  • monthly hours worked increased to 1,958 million.

In seasonally adjusted terms, in May 2024:

  • unemployment rate decreased to 4.0%.
  • participation rate remained at 66.8%.
  • employment increased to 14,355,600.
  • employment to population ratio remained at 64.1%.
  • underemployment rate remained at 6.7%.
  • monthly hours worked decreased to 1,951 million.
  • full-time employment increased by 41,700 to 9,899,900 people.
  • part-time employment decreased by 2,100 to 4,455,700 people.
Key statistics - Trend
Apr-24May-24Monthly changeMonthly change (%)Yearly changeYearly change (%)
Employed people14,316,40014,355,10038,7000.3%377,2002.7%
Unemployed people587,900590,6002,8000.5%68,60013.1%
Unemployment rate3.9%4.0%0.0 ptsna0.4 ptsna
Underemployment rate6.7%6.7%0.0 ptsna0.3 ptsna
Participation rate66.7%66.7%0.0 ptsna0.1 ptsna
Monthly hours worked in all jobs1,953 million1,958 million6 million0.3%17 million0.9%
Key statistics - Seasonally adjusted
Apr-24May-24Monthly changeMonthly change (%)Yearly changeYearly change (%)
Employed people14,316,00014,355,60039,7000.3%354,9002.5%
Unemployed people608,100598,900-9,200-1.5%80,00015.4%
Unemployment rate4.1%4.0%-0.1 ptsna0.4 ptsna
Underemployment rate6.7%6.7%0.1 ptsna0.3 ptsna
Participation rate66.8%66.8%0.0 ptsna0.1 ptsna
Monthly hours worked in all jobs1,960 million1,951 million-9 million-0.5%11 million0.6%

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.

For definitions of labour statistics used in this publication, please refer to Glossary of Labour Force, Australia methodology.

Survey impacts and changes

Release of modelled regional labour force estimates

The ABS has published new monthly modelled SA4 level estimates in the April 2024 release of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed. The next release of these estimates will be on 27 June 2024.

The ABS recommends using the modelled estimates over the direct survey estimates whenever possible in reporting on regional labour markets.

Quarterly rebenchmarking of labour force statistics

Survey response and timeline

Unemployment

In trend terms, in May 2024:

  • unemployment rate increased to 4.0%.
  • unemployed people increased by 2,800 to 590,600. 
  • youth unemployment rate remained at 9.7%.

Large month-to-month changes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in multiple trend breaks. The ABS recommends caution when using trend estimates published in spreadsheets in this release for this period. Information on trend breaks can be found in Labour Force, Australia methodology, May 2024.

Employment

In trend terms, in May 2024, employment increased by 38,700 people (0.3%) to 14,355,100 people. 

Flows into and out of employment

Large month-to-month changes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in multiple trend breaks. The ABS recommends caution when using trend estimates published in spreadsheets in this release for this period. Information on trend breaks can be found in Labour Force, Australia methodology, May 2024.

Full-time and part-time employment

In trend terms, in May 2024:

  • full-time employment increased by 26,200 to 9,892,000 people, and part-time employment increased by 12,500 to 4,463,100 people.
  • part-time share of employment was 31.1%. 

 

Employment-to-population ratio

In trend terms, in May 2024, the employment-to-population ratio remained at 64.1%.

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

Large month-to-month changes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in multiple trend breaks. The ABS recommends caution when using trend estimates published in spreadsheets in this release for this period. Information on trend breaks can be found in Labour Force, Australia methodology, May 2024.

Hours worked

In trend terms, in May 2024, monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 5.6 million hours (0.3%) to 1,958 million hours.

Large month-to-month changes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in multiple trend breaks. The ABS recommends caution when using trend estimates published in spreadsheets in this release for this period. Information on trend breaks can be found in Labour Force, Australia methodology, May 2024.

Participation

In trend terms, in May 2024, the participation rate:

  • remained at 66.7%.
  • remained at 70.8% for men and decreased to 62.7% for women.

Large month-to-month changes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in multiple trend breaks. The ABS recommends caution when using trend estimates published in spreadsheets in this release for this period. Information on trend breaks can be found in Labour Force, Australia methodology, May 2024.

Underemployment

In trend terms, in May 2024:

  • underemployment rate remained at 6.7%.
  • underutilisation rate remained at 10.6%.

Large month-to-month changes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in multiple trend breaks. The ABS recommends caution when using trend estimates published in spreadsheets in this release for this period. Information on trend breaks can be found in Labour Force, Australia methodology, May 2024.

States and Territories

May 2024 - Trend
New South WalesVictoriaQueenslandSouth AustraliaWestern AustraliaTasmaniaNorthern TerritoryAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia
Employed people4,444,2003,735,1002,943,600937,9001,611,400284,000140,400269,10014,355,100
Employed people - monthly change0.2%0.4%0.4%-0.1%0.4%0.3%0.2%0.6%0.3%
Employment to population ratio63.4%64.7%64.4%59.9%66.5%58.8%70.3%69.8%64.1%
Employment to population ratio - monthly change0.0 pts0.1 pts0.1 pts-0.2 pts0.0 pts0.1 pts0.0 pts0.2 pts0.0 pts
Unemployment rate3.8%4.3%4.1%3.9%3.6%4.0%4.0%3.8%4.0%
Unemployment rate - monthly change0.0 pts0.1 pts0.0 pts0.0 pts0.0 pts0.0 pts0.0 pts-0.1 pts0.0 pts
Underemployment rate6.3%7.1%6.9%7.4%5.7%7.7%3.7%5.2%6.7%
Underemployment rate - monthly change0.0 pts0.0 pts0.0 pts0.1 pts-0.1 pts0.1 pts0.0 pts0.0 pts0.0 pts
Participation rate66.0%67.6%67.1%62.4%69.0%61.3%73.3%72.5%66.7%
Participation rate - monthly change0.0 pts0.1 pts0.1 pts-0.2 pts0.0 pts0.1 pts0.0 pts0.2 pts0.0 pts
May 2024 - Seasonally adjusted
New South WalesVictoriaQueenslandSouth AustraliaWestern AustraliaTasmaniaNorthern TerritoryAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia
Employed people4,444,4003,738,9002,947,100935,7001,616,000284,800138,800269,30014,355,600
Employed people - monthly change0.3%0.5%-0.2%-0.4%1.8%0.7%-0.4%0.3%0.3%
Employment to population ratio63.5%64.8%64.5%59.8%66.7%59.0%69.6%69.8%64.1%
Employment to population ratio - monthly change0.1 pts0.2 pts-0.3 pts-0.3 pts1.0 pts0.4 pts-0.4 pts0.1 pts0.0 pts
Unemployment rate3.8%4.4%4.0%4.0%3.6%4.1%4.1%3.8%4.0%
Unemployment rate - monthly change-0.2 pts0.1 pts0.0 pts-0.2 pts-0.3 pts0.1 pts0.0 pts0.0 pts-0.1 pts
Underemployment rate6.3%7.1%6.9%7.5%5.8%7.8%3.9%4.8%6.7%
Underemployment rate - monthly change-0.1 pts0.3 pts0.0 pts0.1 pts0.4 pts0.1 pts0.3 pts-0.7 pts0.1 pts
Participation rate65.9%67.8%67.2%62.3%69.2%61.5%72.5%72.6%66.8%
Participation rate - monthly change0.0 pts0.2 pts-0.3 pts-0.5 pts0.8 pts0.5 pts-0.4 pts0.1 pts0.0 pts

Historical charts

Historical charts for employed, unemployed, unemployment rate and participation rate from August 1966 to May 2024