Australia’s unemployment rate falls to 5%

Australia’s unemployment rate has dropped 0.2 percentage points to 5.0 percent in December, increasing the pressure on businesses to pay higher wages to retain or recruit employees, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

Unemployment RateThe unemployment rate dropped as a result of an increase of 2,300 in the number of people employed in December, with the number of full time employed up 1,700 and the number of part-time employed up 600. The total number of Australians in full time employment in December rose to 8.034 million with part time employment hitting 3.383 million, taking the total number of Australians in the workforce to 11.417 million according to the ABS.

Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, not due to the relatively static number of persons employed, but due to the labour force participation rate falling 0.2 percentage points to 65.8 percent. Labour force participation is the percentage of persons of working age who are either actively looking for employment or are employed, with a fall in participation the unemployment rate also falls if the total number of employed remains constant.

The number of people unemployed decreased by 25,400 people to 598,700 in December, reported the ABS.

Total hours worked in December fell slightly, with the ABS seasonally adjusted monthly aggregate hours worked series showing a decrease in December, down 3.4 million hours to 1,599.0 million hours.

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