Employment Data Holds Up In September

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Another OK jobs report for September from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed the labour market continues to withstand the stagnation spreading through cars, retailing, home building and construction.

There was a small rise in new jobs last month, a small rise in hours worked and still solid participation rate saw confirmed the labour market remains buoyant.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that September saw trend unemployment rate remain steady at 5.3% while around 20,200 new jobs were created.

“All of Australia’s key trend measures remained steady in September 2019, with the unemployment rate at 5.3 percent and the participation rate at 66.2 percent.” ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said yesterday in the statement from the bureau.

Full-time employment increased by about 9,000 and part-time employment increased by about 11,300 people as job creation continues to keep ahead of the annual growth in the overall jobs market.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 2.4% or around 300,000 people compared with the average annual growth over the past 20 years of 2.0%. Full-time employment increased by 2.1% and part-time employment increased by 2.9% over the past year.
The trend monthly hours worked rose 0.1% in September 2019 and by 1.8% over the past year. This was slightly above the 20 year average year-on-year growth of 1.7%.

The trend monthly underemployment rate remained steady at 8.4% in September 2019, an increase of 0.1 percentage points over the past year. The trend monthly underutilisation rate remained steady at 13.7%, an increase of 0.2 percentage points over the past year. The trend participation rate was steady on 66.2%.

The ABS said the monthly trend unemployment rate remained steady in half of the states and territories in September 2019. Unemployment rate changes occurred in the Northern Territory (up 0.2 percentage points), Queensland and South Australia (up 0.1 percentage points) and Western Australia (down 0.1 percentage points).

Over the year, unemployment rates fell in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory and increased in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory.

On a seasonally adjusted the unemployment rate fell by less than 0.1 percentage points to 5.2% in September 2019, while the underemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 8.3% percent. The seasonally adjusted participation rate fell by less than 0.1 percentage points to 66.1 percent, and the number of people employed rose by around 14,700.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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