National Unemployment Falls to Six Year Low Five Percent

Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5 per cent, the lowest level it has been since 2012.

The 0.3 per cent drop marked a six-year low, with a fall in the number of people searching for work pushing the unemployment rate down.

Overall numbers of people with a job increased by 5,600 people seasonally adjusted, but the participation rate fell 0.3 per cent from August to 65.4 per cent.

There was also a growth in full-time employment to 20,300, outweighing a drop of people in part-time work to 14,700.

The underemployment rate also fell to 8.3 per cent.

The underutilisation rate combining unemployment, underemployment and a key forward indicator of wages pressure, decreased to 13.5 per cent.

The last time the seasonally adjusted employment rate was at a low level was June 2011 when it was 4.9 per cent.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the drop in unemployment was a good sign for the economy.

“Full-time employment up by 20,000, these numbers are consistent with the momentum we see in the economy,” Mr Frydenberg said.

He said despite a fall in participation rate, it still remained at record highs.

“In terms of the participation rate, more women and more seniors are in the workforce and over the year we have seen another 100,000 jobs created for young people.”

However, BIS Oxford Economics head of macroeconomics Australia Sarah Hunter said the 14,700 drop in people indicated a slowdown in the economy despite encouraging signs by a jump in people with full-time employment.

“Overall, jobs growth has slowed markedly and become much more patchy in the last three months, suggesting that momentum in the economy may be slowing after a strong start to 2018,” Ms Hunter said.

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