Unemployment Rate Steady At 5.1 % February 2020

Unemployment Rate Steady At 5.1 % February 2020

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Trend Unemployment Rate Remained Steady At 5.1%

Victor P Taffa

Australia’s trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.1 % in February 2020, from a revised January 2020 figure, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

“Trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.1 % for a third consecutive month.” ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said.

There was no notable impact on February 2020 Labour Force statistics resulting from the recent bushfires or COVID-19. The February reference period was in the first half of the month and pre-dates the notable increases in confirmed cases in Australia of COVID-19.

Employment And Hours

In February 2020, trend monthly employment increased by around 21,000 people. Full-time employment increased by around 13,000 and part-time employment increased by around 8,000 people.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by around 241,000 people (1.9 %), below the average annual growth over the past 20 years (2.0 %).

Full-time employment growth (1.5 %) was below the average annual growth over the past 20 years (1.6 %) and part-time employment growth (2.7 %) was also below the average annual growth over the past 20 years (3.0 %).

Trend monthly hours worked decreased by less than 0.1 % in February 2020 and increased by 0.8 % over the past year. This was lower than the 20-year average annual growth of 1.6 %.

“We have seen a decrease in the trend hours worked in recent months, even though employment has continued to grow. This largely reflects a fall in the total hours worked by men.” Mr. Hockman said.

Underemployment And Underutilisation

Trend monthly underemployment rate remained steady at 8.6 % in February 2020, and increased by 0.3 percentage points over the past year.

Trend monthly underutilisation rate also remained steady at 13.7 % in February 2020, an increase of 0.4 percentage points over the past year.

States And Territories Trend Unemployment Rate

Monthly trend unemployment rate increased in Victoria and decreased in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania in February 2020. The unemployment rate remained steady in all other states and territories.

Over the year, unemployment rates fell in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. Unemployment rates increased in New South Wales, Victoria, and the Northern Territory.

Seasonally Adjusted Data

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.1 % in February 2020, while the underemployment rate remained steady at 8.6 %. The seasonally adjusted participation rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 66.0 %, and the number of people employed increased by around 27,000.