The ABS confirmed that between February and March 2020, the trend monthly hours worked did not change. Early March also showed that the trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2%.
This data describes the first two weeks of March, before the major COVID-19 restrictions came into place. This demonstrates that the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian labour market was minor in early March, however, April data will more accurately display the impact from major COVID-19 related restrictions.
Trend employment over the past year had increased by 1.8% – approximately 224,000 people. This was below the annual growth of 2% over the past 20 years. In March 2020, the trend monthly employment increased by approximately 17,000 people, while the trend monthly underemployment rate increased by 0.1% to reach 8.7%. This is a 0.4% increase over the past year.