The Real Story Behind Australia’s Unemployment Rate

July 25th, 2013

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australia’s unemployment rate is 5.7%, but there’s more statistical information behind this worth examining.

The employment and population growth figures indicate whether the number of jobs is keeping up with the increase in population numbers. 10,300 jobs were created in June, which is just below population growth. However, annual employment growth has been behind for the last 2 years.

The full-time unemployment rate shows whether the labour market is strong or weak. In June 2013, the full-time jobless rate was 6%, and 0.3% above the total unemployment rate. The gap between the rates is increasing as the growth of full-time jobs decrease, which indicates a weak labour market.

The average number of hours worked per month by an individual conveys how much work actually gets done. These numbers are measured by using the employment to population ratio, which shows that people are now working less hours.

The market sector hours reveal the health of the private sector. In the last 3 months, the number of hours worked in the market sector increased to 0.5%. Although this kept the annual growth figure positive, it suggests a weakening economy.

Finally, ABS data regarding the unemployment rate minus each state displays which state increases/decreases the national rate. The figures show that Queensland is increasing the national rate, with Western Australia decreasing it. If the employment situation of a state helps or hinders the national picture considerably, then that means the national rate may be hiding a more complicated picture.