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Australia’s Labour Market Wobbles In September


The pandemic’s impact on jobs has been particularly brutal. What does the labour force data for September tell us about unemployment? 

Master Builders Chief Economist Shane Garrett takes us inside the ABS labour force data release  for September. 

Today’s data show that Australia’s labour market stumbled during September 2020. o However, there were some good results outside of Victoria.

Following severe bloodletting between March and May, the labour market started to fight back in June.

September’s results represent the first real setback since the start of this recovery.

Australia’s unemployment rate increased slightly, from 6.8% in August to 6.9% in September.

In seasonally-adjusted terms, about 30,000 jobs were lost across Australia during September. o Of the jobs lost, the majority (20,100) were full-time jobs with about 10,000 part-time jobs also vanishing during the month. o Victoria’s economy alone lost 35,500 jobs during September, almost all of which were part time. o Several states clawed back impressive numbers of jobs during the month, including Queensland (+32,200) and South Australia (+8,700).

The actual number of unemployed people in Australia rose by 11,250 during September in seasonally-adjusted terms. o Across Australia, there are now 937,445 people without a job. This is 228,123 more than a year ago.

Despite solid job gains during September, Queensland still has the highest unemployment rate (7.7%), followed by Tasmania (7.6%) and New South Wales (7.2%). o The ACT easily has the lowest unemployment rate (3.8%) followed by the Northern Territory (4.8%).


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