Unemployment rises to 5.6 per cent

Unemployment stays at 5.4 per cent

Australia’s jobless rate has risen to a nine month high of 5.6 per cent, edging up from 5.5 per cent in March and up from November, when it was at a 4 1/2-year low of 5.4 per cent. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data show that employment growth has slowed in the last few months after solid numbers in 2017. 

This is despite an uptick in employment growth with another 22,600 jobs being added in April. 

The increase was driven by a higher participation rate which came in at a record 65.6 per cent with more people looking for work.

The numbers showed 32,700 new full-time jobs were created over the month.

This more than offset the loss of 10,000 part-time positions.

Hours worked rose by 1.1 per cent. 

Job growth was particularly strong in New South Wales which put on 27,000 jobs.

Unemployment is highest in Queensland and Western Australia where the jobless rate is 6.5 per cent.

Indeed economist Callam Pickering said the figures showed that labour market slack is still high in Australia.

“We still have a long way to go before we can safely say that our labour market and economy is in a healthy place. Yesterday’s awful wage data only reinforces this, with real wages barely changed over the past five years,” Mr Pickering said. 

An award winning author and journalist, commentator, lecturer, and speaker, Leon is a freelance business journalist who covers a range of areas including politics, strategy, globalization, leadership and all the big trends ahead. His main skill is summing up all the news that’s around. For the last 30 years, his main focus has been on management issues. He also produces two podcasts for RMIT University, Talking Business and Talking Technology. Leon has worked for Fairfax, News Limited, AAP and the Herald and Weekly Times.

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