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100k+ jobs boost isn’t all good news

  • September 17 2020
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100k+ jobs boost isn’t all good news

By Grace Ormsby
September 17 2020

More than 100,000 jobs have unexpectedly been added to the economy, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

jobs boost

100k+ jobs boost isn’t all good news

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  • September 17 2020
  • Share

More than 100,000 jobs have unexpectedly been added to the economy, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

jobs boost

In its latest Labour Force data, seasonally adjusted employment rose by 111,000 (0.9 per cent) between July and August.

The new figures mean unemployment has decreased by 87,000 – a 0.7 per cent improvement to the unemployment rate, which now sits at 6.8 per cent.  

Women are reportedly leading the charge, with 55,000 of the new jobs added attributed to female workforce participation.

Despite the new jobs, hours worked saw a far more modest increase of 0.1 per cent.

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It means underemployment figures remain at 11.2 per cent – 2.4 per cent above the March quarter.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis attributed much of the residual unemployment and underemployment figures to the situation in Victoria.

He said, “Hours fell by 4.8 per cent in Victoria, compared to a 1.8 per cent increase across the rest of Australia.”

Victoria has also borne the brunt of unemployment – reporting a decrease of 42,400 jobs.

Across the rest of Australia, an increase in hours of 1.8 per cent was recorded, with Mr Jarvis stating it was reflective of “the strength of the increase in part-time employment between May and August, which has been almost eight times greater than the increase in full-time employment”.

Dr Sarah Hunter, the chief economist for BIS Oxford Economics, has reflected on the “surprisingly resilient” nature of employment, despite Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown weighing heavily on the economy.

“Despite the positive employment print, the impact of restrictions in Victoria is clear,” she acknowledged.

Overall, the results have led the economist to consider that “the fall in the unemployment rate suggests that the peak at the end of the year may be lower than current estimates”.

“But this outcome would understate the impact of the pandemic, given the fall in the participation rate and the increase in the underutilisation rate (which remained above 11 per cent in August).”

She said both of these trends will need to be reversed through the recovery period.

In addition, the economist flagged that “this much spare capacity in the labour market will weigh heavily on wages growth for at least the next year”.

100k+ jobs boost isn’t all good news
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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