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Australian workforce reaches record high in February

  • March 09 2021
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Australian workforce reaches record high in February

By Cameron Micallef
March 09 2021

While the official number of Australians looking for work continues to fall, a research house estimates that the Australian workforce remains underemployed, with a record number of people looking to participate in the workforce, new research shows. 

Australian workforce reaches record high in February

Australian workforce reaches record high in February

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  • March 09 2021
  • Share

While the official number of Australians looking for work continues to fall, a research house estimates that the Australian workforce remains underemployed, with a record number of people looking to participate in the workforce, new research shows. 

Australian workforce reaches record high in February

Stats released by Roy Morgan showed that the number of Australians looking to participate in the workforce has increased to a record level 14.6 million.

While Australians are looking to get back to work, the number of underemployed Australians continues to rise. 

Combined, Roy Morgan estimates that when underemployment and those who worked zero hours are added, Australia’s unemployment rate is 13.2 per cent for October.

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The official unemployment rate, according to the ABS, remains at 6.4 per cent for the month of January, although it does not count employed Australians who worked zero hours or underemployed people in its unemployed statistics. 

“Roy Morgan’s unemployment measure for February shows 1.93 million Australians were unemployed and an additional 1.14 million were underemployed. In total, 3.07 million Australians (21.0 per cent) were unemployed or underemployed – down 50,000 on a month ago,” Roy Morgan’s CEO Michele Levine said. 

According to the stats, NSW continues to have the lowest unemployment rate at 11.5 per cent, although this is an increase from January.

Next best was South Australia and Victoria, both have an unemployment rate under the national average of 13.2 per cent. 

In both Queensland and South Australia, part-time employment increased strongly although full-time employment in both states was virtually unchanged from the month before.

With millions looking to get into the workforce or work more hours, Roy Morgan estimates that changing government stimulus packages is likely to hurt Aussies’ back pocket. 

The winding back of the emergency government support measures at the end of March has clearly hit home for many, with the JobSeeker payment being cut from the current $716 a fortnight to $616 a fortnight and the JobKeeper wage subsidy of up to $1,000 per fortnight ending,” Ms Levine said.

The CEO noted that despite the large-scale government spending, the impacts of COVID-19 continues to impact workers. 

“It’s important to remember that since the COVID-19 pandemic began to heavily impact Australia in mid-March, there are now an extra 900,000 Australians either unemployed or underemployed, which makes for a very competitive jobs market for those currently looking for new work,” she said. 

Australian workforce reaches record high in February
Australian workforce reaches record high in February
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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