Australia Facing Unemployment Growth

Australia Facing Unemployment Growth
Australia Facing Unemployment Growth

Australia Facing Unemployment Growth

The recent release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says that the unemployment rate increased by less than 0.1 percentage points to 5.8 percent. Now it looks that Australia’s October jobs report is a major disappointment for the recently elected government of the country which came to the power after dethroning the Labor Party.

Though it is a marginal increase, Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate that increased 0.1 percent in October is definitely a concern for Tony Abbott who came to power promising to correct the national economy. According to ABS on a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment increased by 9,100 people to 709,300 in October.

The national body for data collection, ABS also shows that the number of people employed increased by 1,100 to 11,639,200 in October which is quite insignificant when compared with the number of unemployed. Additionally, the increase in employment is due to part-time employers, which went up 28,900 to 3,544,500 which cannot be considered a good indication.

The ABS report clears that the increase in total employment was mainly driven by an increase in male part-time employment. Interestingly, the full-time employment has gone down drastically wherein 27,900 people lost their full time job and now only 8,094,700 have full time employment. Observers believe that trend shows that people are opting for part-time jobs as they do not have a full-time job.


This is not a good indication for a better employment scenario. In fact, the ABS monthly seasonally adjusted aggregate hours worked series shows that there has been an increase in October where it is up by 6.2 million hours to 1,648.5 million hours; however, there is not much development in the seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate which stands at 64.8 percent in the last month.

Growth in Ageing Population Showing in the Unemployment Data

For eight months there has not been a decrease in the unemployment rate and it is still up at the current levels; it is a major issue that the government needs to address. Whatever decrease in unemployment is happening is due to retiring people. For instance, the share of the adult population over 65 has gone up to18 percent in the last decade.

Similarly, the share of the population aged 60 to 64 has also increased. These are groups that are out of the employment figures. According to some estimates the slight increase in unemployment can grow even higher if it is not tackled well.

To contact the reporter of this story: Jonathan millet at