ABS Update: Labour force rate at an all-time high

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Australia’s trend participation rate increased to 65.9% in May 2019, according to the latest information released by the ABS. The participation rate has risen 0.4% over the past year, to an all-time high. The participation rate for people aged 15-64 also climbed to a record rate of 78.4%, with 74.3% of people in this age group being employed.

Trend monthly employment increased by around 28,000 persons in May 2019, with both full-time and part-time employment increasing by 14,000 persons. Over the past year, trend employment increased by 333,000 persons or 2.7%, above the average annual growth over the past 20 years of 2.0%.

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.2% in May 2019 and by 2.5% over the past year. This was above the 20 year average year-on-year growth of 1.7%.

The trend monthly underemployment rate rose slightly to 8.5% in May, returning to the same level as May 2018. The trend underutilisation rate decreased by 0.3% over the year.

The trend unemployment rate overall remained at 5.1% for the third consecutive month. In the Australian Capital Territory, the trend unemployment rate increased by 0.1% but remained steady in all other states and territories.

Unemployment rates have been falling over the year in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, and increasing in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

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