Australia adds 61,600 jobs in November; Unemployment remains at 5.4pc

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jobs in Australia
A job advert for a local fast food outlet hangs on a wall in a shopping center located in central Sydney, Australia, in this March. Reuters/David Gray

Employment in Australia surged again for the month of November. The unemployment rate, however, remains at 5.4 percent, above what many economists consider a desirable balance.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows that employment increased by 61,600 to 12.4 million in seasonally adjusted terms. Victoria has seen the largest employment growth by 32,900.

There has also been a rise in full-time employment, jumping by 41,900 to 8.5 million. There were more part-time jobs in Australia, too, rising to 3.9 million. The overall number of hours worked by all Australians jumped by 9.8 million hours to 1.7409 billion hours in seasonally adjusted terms.

Amid the employment growth, the unemployment rate was sturdy due to a huge lift in labour force participation, which was up 0.3 percent points to 65.5 percent. It was the highest level since 2011.

The ABS Labour Force report for November was very good and continued the underlying trend seen throughout this year. As for the unemployment rate, the number of people working or are looking for work has something to do with it not dropping.

There were several jobs added last month, but unemployment was steady because the proportion of people in work and job seekers jumped to 65.5 percent. That is viewed as a good thing for the economy.

The quarterly underemployment figure is still high although it dropped 0.2 percentage points to 8.3 percent. But it is better compared to the peak of 8.9 percent in February.

All states saw higher labour force participation rates from the levels recorded in October, the ABS said. It shows that the most significant increase was in Western Australia. New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia follow.

As for the labour force underutilisation rate, it dropped to 13.7 percent in seasonally adjusted terms. It was the lowest since February 2014.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has commented on Australia’ employment growth, saying government policy results in a significant boost to the numbers. “Our policies are restoring confidence to business, and business is responding by investing, creating more jobs, and hiring more workers,” he told reporters in Sydney.

The Aussie leader said the job figures means anyone looking for jobs or those who have a job but wants a better one has more opportunities in front of them. He took to Twitter to spread the good news about “record job numbers.” He wrote over 1,000 jobs are being created here every single day.

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