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Unemployment rates reach new low

  • January 24 2020
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Unemployment rates reach new low

By Cameron Micallef
January 24 2020

Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest levels since April last year, falling to 5.1 per cent in December 2019, according to national figures.

Unemployment rates reach new low

Unemployment rates reach new low

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  • January 24 2020
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Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest levels since April last year, falling to 5.1 per cent in December 2019, according to national figures.

Unemployment rates reach new low

In December 2019, trend monthly employment increased by around 18,000 people, with both full-time and part-time employment increasing by around 9,000 people.

ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman noted full-time employment was well below the average annual growth rate over the past two decades and part-time employment was above the average annual growth rate for the last 20 years. 

“While there has been stronger growth in part-time employment over the past year, the underemployment rate is still where it was last December, at 8.3 per cent,” said Mr Hockman.

The monthly trend unemployment rate increased in the Northern Territory and decreased in Queensland and Tasmania in December 2019. The unemployment rate remained steady in all other states and the ACT.

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Over the year, unemployment rates fell in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. Unemployment rates increased in all other states and the Northern Territory.

Strong job numbers will ease pressure off the central bank, which has previously noted Australia has “spare capacity”, with the ideal unemployment number being 4.5 per cent.

IMF economist Alex Joiner said “a very solid labour market outcome, strong job growth and constant participation rate see the unemployment rate edge lower”. 

“Seems the data may not provide any red flags for the RBA heading into its February meeting.”

AMP chief economist Dr Shane Oliver noted that Australia’s December job growth was “solid” at 2.1 per cent year-on-year, albeit down from highs and growths in hours worked is a bit weaker.

However, he noted Australia’s labour market still remains underutilised at 13.4 per cent, which is almost double the United States’.

Unemployment rates reach new low
Unemployment rates reach new low
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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

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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