by Alan Thornhill
Australia’s unemployment rate stuck at at 5.1 per cent last month, even though 49,500 new jobs appeared in that time.
The Bureau of Statistics said the rise in employment was driven by a seasonally adjusted increase of 55,800 in full-time jobs.
But part-time employment fell by 6,300.
The Bureau also reported the workforce participation rate in September increased 0.2 percentage points to 65.6 per cent.
Overall, this is a picture of a strengthening labour market, which is encouraging people to seek – and often find – jobs.
Australia’s total employment has been rising steeply since November last year.
The nation’s unemployment rate has also fallen substantially since then.
The government had been hoping that the nation’s unemployment rate would have dropped below 5 per cent by now.
Oddly, perhaps, the main reason that this did not happen is that the nation’s work-force has expanded, as its economy improved.
The Bureau counts both people who have work – and those who are actively looking for a job – as part of the nation’s work force.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Monday May 20
The Dow Jones Index rose 121.18 points Friday,New York time) to 15,354.40
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has received a boost in the latest newspaper polls as she continues her push to get states and territories to sign up to the Federal Government’s education reforms. Fairfax’s latest Nielsen poll says support for Ms Gillard as preferred prime minister has increased four points to 46 per cent, leaving her level with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, whose support dipped four points.
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