Categories: Markets

Unemployment rate in Australia falls to 3.4%

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 3.4 per cent in October 2022, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said: “With employment increasing by around 32,000 people, and the number of unemployed decreasing by 21,000 people, the unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 3.4 per cent.”

For men, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 3.2 per cent, the lowest rate since November 1974. For women, it remained steady at 3.6 per cent.

The seasonally adjusted participation rate remained steady at 66.5 per cent, slightly below the historical high of 66.7 per cent.

“The participation rate was 0.2 percentage points below the record high of 66.7 per cent in June 2022, but 0.7 percentage points higher than before the pandemic,” Mr Jarvis said.

The participation rate fell slightly for men, down to 70.9 per cent, and remained steady for women at 62.3 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 32,000 people (0.2 per cent) in October 2022. Given the size of this increase, the employment to population ratio increased 0.1 percentage point to 64.3 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked increased by 2.3 per cent, stronger than the growth in employment (0.2 per cent). This stronger growth in hours partly reflected fewer employed people than usual taking leave during October.

“The number of people who worked fewer hours because they were on annual leave increased between September and October, consistent with school holidays and public holidays. However, the number of people on annual leave in October 2022 was around 10 per cent less than we typically see at this time of the year,” Mr Jarvis said.

Some of this difference may reflect people who would normally have taken annual leave being sick instead, with around 30 per cent more people than usual working reduced hours in October due to sickness.

“While the number of people working fewer hours due to sickness was around a third higher than we’d usually see in October, it was no longer two-to-three times higher, as it was earlier in 2022. October was the first month in 2022 where the number of people was less than half a million (467,000),” Mr Jarvis said.

Flood events across New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania saw more people working reduced hours due to bad weather, increasing from 66,000 people in September to 100,000 in October 2022.

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