Full-Time Employment Up For 8th Straight Month In May 2017

Full-Time Employment Up For 8th Straight Month In May 2017

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Trend Full-Time Employment Growth Continues

Victor P Taffa

Monthly trend full-time employment increased for the 8th straight month in May 2017, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Full-time employment grew by a further 19,300 persons, while part-time employment increased by 5,900 persons, underpinning an increase in total employment of 25,200 persons.


“Full-time employment has increased by around 124,000 persons since September 2016, with particular strength over the past 5 months, at around 20,000 persons per month.” Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman said.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 194,200 persons (or 1.6 %), which is still below the average year-on-year growth over the past 20 years (1.8 %). It has increased since December 2016, when the year-on-year growth was at 0.8 % and reflected relatively low employment growth through most of 2016.

Trend monthly hours worked increased by 2.9 Million hours (0.2 %) to 1,677.7 Million hours in May 2017. Most of this increase was hours worked by full-time workers.

Trend unemployment rate in Australia remained at 5.7 % in May 2017. Trend underemployment rate, which is a quarterly measure of employed persons wanting more hours, increased from 8.7 % to 8.8 % between February and May 2017.

“Underemployment rate is an important indicator of the spare capacity of workers in Australia, and has risen for the 6th consecutive quarter to a historical high of 8.8 %.” Mr. Hockman said.

Trend underutilisation rate, which includes both unemployment and underemployment, remained at 14.5 % in May 2017.

Trend series smooth the more volatile seasonally adjusted estimates and provide the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market.

Seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 42,000 in May 2017. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 %, and the seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate increased slightly to 64.9 %.

“Trend unemployment rate has been relatively stable over the past 18 months, at around 5.7 to 5.8 %, while the seasonally adjusted rate has also been relatively constrained, between 5.5 and 6.0 %.” Mr. Hockman said.