Steady unemployment rate continues in 2016

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Australia’s unemployment rate remained at a static 5.7 per cent last month, even though a recent labour force survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that an estimated 10,800 jobs were created in April.

A slight decrease in the number of people working or looking for work helped keep the jobless rate steady.

It has been estimated that Australia needs to create about 20,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate stable, but a slowing population growth and last month’s decline in labour force participation meant that 10,800 jobs was enough.

Data from the ABS also showed that all of the extra jobs last month were part-time. An estimated 20,200 part-time positions were added, while 9,300 full-time jobs were lost.

The participation rate decreased from 64.9 per cent to 64.8 per cent, with more than 9000 full-time jobs lost.

For the first time in three years, the number of hours worked fell by 1.1 per cent in April. But, economists have said that the drop in hours worked is due to the increase in part-time jobs created over the past year.

Around twice as many part-time jobs were created as full-time jobs, reflecting job growth in industries such as tourism and hospitality, where employers are more likely to use casual labour.

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