Jobless rate falls as lockdowns removed

The December labour force report shows continued strong demand for workers.

The December labour force report shows continued strong demand for workers. Photo: Getty

Australia’s jobless rate has fallen to 4.6 per cent after the most recent coronavirus lockdowns came to an end.

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in NSW and Victoria had a large influence on the national figures, with employment in both states increasing by 180,000 people and 141,000 people between October and November.

The lower jobless rate for November compared to 5.2 per cent in the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

The national participation rate rose by 1.4 percentage points to 66.1 per cent in November.

This was 0.2 percentage points below the peak in May and 0.2 percentage points higher than the start of the pandemic.

Unemployment fell by 69,000 people, following an increase of 81,000 in October, as people returned to work.

“Most people remained attached to their job through the Delta lockdowns and to a greater extent than we saw earlier in the pandemic,” ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said.

“This job attachment meant, as restrictions were eased, many people were able to quickly return to work.”

Youth employment rose by 123,000 people, around one-third of the total increase of 366,000.

The youth participation rate increased by 3.7 percentage points to 70.1 per cent, the highest since March 2009.

Economists’ forecasts were pointing to a 200,000 rise in employment in November, although expectations ranged from gains of 150,000 to 280,000.

The report was released ahead of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handing down his mid-year budget review, which is expected to show Treasury had lowered its forecasts for unemployment.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.