Trend Unemployment Rate Down To 5.4 % In December 2017

Trend Unemployment Rate Down To 5.4 % In December 2017

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Continued Strength In Employment Growth

Victor P Taffa

Employment And Hours

Monthly trend full-time employment increased for the 14th straight month in December 2017.

Full-time employment grew by a further 17,000 persons in December, while part-time employment increased by 8,000 persons, underpinning a total increase in employment of 25,000 persons.

“Full-time employment has now increased by around 322,000 persons since December 2016, and makes up the majority of the 393,000 net increase in employment over the period.” Chief Economist for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Bruce Hockman said.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 3.3 %, which is above the average year-on-year growth over the past 20 years (1.9 %). The last time it was 3.3 % or higher was in September 2005.

Trend monthly hours worked increased by 4.0 Million hours (0.2 %), with the annual figure also reflecting strong growth over the year (3.6 %).

Labour force participation rate remained at 65.5 % after the November 2017 number was revised up, the highest it has been since March 2011. The female labour force participation rate also increased to a further historical high of 60.4 %, having increased steadily over the past year.


Trend unemployment rate decreased slightly to 5.4 % in December 2017, after the November 2017 figure was revised up to 5.5 %.

“Trend unemployment rate was 0.3 percentage points lower than a year ago, and is at its lowest point since January 2013.” Mr. Hockman said.

States and Territories

Over the past year, the states and territories with the strongest annual growth in trend employment were:

  • Queensland (4.6%),
  • Australian Capital Territory (4.6 %),
  • New South Wales (3.5 %).

Over the past year, all states and territories recorded a decrease in their trend unemployment rates, except the Northern Territory (which increased 1.6 percentage points).

Seasonally Adjusted Data

Seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 35,000 in December 2017. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 5.5 % and the labour force participation rate increased to 65.7 %.