Australia economy: Unemployment rate sees decline, full-time jobs decrease nationwide

By @shauryaarya1 on
Employment
An employee of global professional services company Accenture works next to his dog, during a day the company offers to their employees to work accompanied by their pets in Heredia, Costa Rica February 15, 2017. Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate

The unemployment rate of Australia has witnessed a decrease, falling to 5.7 percent. The development is largely attributable to a rise in part-time jobs, which overcame the effects of a decline seen in full-time employment.

According to the Bureau of Statistics’ seasonally adjusted data, the unemployment rate went down from 5.8 percent to 5.7 percent last month. In January, 13,500 jobs were added to the Australian economy – beating forecasts of 10,000 jobs – bringing the total to 11,998,200.

Part-time jobs increased by 58,300 jobs to 3,872,500. Full-time jobs, on the other hand, saw a decline of 44,800 jobs to reach 8,125,700.

South Australia’s unemployment rate went down to 6.4 percent. As many as 11,300 jobs were added in the state in the last year. The news comes as the state will witness Holden’s closure in October. As reported by The Advertiser, some Holden employees can get new jobs in the IT sector.

Western Australia’s unemployment rate currently stands at 6.5 percent. It is the highest recorded rate in the country.

“We are still seeing strong growth in part-time employment in January 2017 and, in recent months, increasing growth in full-time employment," Bruce Hockman, the bureau's general manager of macroeconomic statistics, said.

AMP Capital's chief economist Shane Oliver said the statistics will remain neutral for policymakers, like the Reserve Bank. This is majorly because the unemployment rate is maintained through increasing part-time employment. "Yet again, we've got that ongoing problem of a fall in fulltime jobs … and the quality of employment growth is still lacking in Australia," he said, speaking with ABC News Radio.

The percentage of adult population either working or looking for work – also known as the participation rate – slid from 64.7 percent to 64.6 percent. The number of hours worked in a month upped by 10.2 million hours to reach 1,682.7 million hours.

The number of unemployed people went down by 19,300 to reach 720,200. Among these, those seeking full-time employment decreased by 16,000 to 511,000, while those looking for part-time employment decreased by 3,300 to 209,200.

Deutsche Bank economist Adam Boyton said the latest statistics suggest the jobless rate is shifting sideways. "Stepping back from the month-to-month noise in these data, we note that the broad trend in the unemployment rate appears to be moving sideways," he said. "Indeed, we expect the unemployment rate to trend sideways (of course with the usual noise one sees in these data) for some time."

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