Unemployment reaches new high over 7%: ABS

Unemployment reaches new high over 7%: ABS
Unemployment reaches new high over 7%: ABS

The May unemployment rate increased by 85,700 people to 927,600, taking the unemployment rate up to 7.1 per cent, today's ABS figures showed.

It was now at an 18 year high.

The ACT has the lowest unemployment rate at 4.1 per cent.

New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania are the only other states under the national unemployment rate.

New South Wales has the lowest at 6.4 per cent, up from 6.3 per cent in April, and Victoria 6.9 per cent, up from six per cent in April. Tasmania's unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent.

Western Australia's unemployment rate is the highest at 8.1 per cent, then Queensland and South Australia and 7.9 per cent.

The Northern Territory has a unemployment rate of 7.4 per cent. 

In April it sat at 6.4 per cent, and 5.2 per cent in March before COVID-19 took over.

Seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 227,700 people between April and May.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said, "The drop in employment, of close to a quarter of a million people, added to the 600,000 in April, brings the total fall to 835,000 people since March."

“In two months, the percentage of people aged 15 and over employed in Australia decreased from around 62.5 per cent to around 58.7 per cent.”

As in April, the size of the increase in the unemployment rate in May was reduced by larger than usual numbers of employed and unemployed people leaving the labour force.

This was reflected in a further fall in the participation rate, down 0.7 percentage points to 62.9 per cent.

The last time the participation rate was below 63 per cent was in January 2001.

Monthly hours worked fell 0.7 per cent in May, to be down 10.2 per cent since March (with the April fall revised up to 9.5 per cent).

"The ABS estimates that a combined group of around 2.3 million people - around 1 in 5 employed people - were affected by either job loss between April and May or had less hours than usual for economic reasons in May," Mr Jarvis said.

Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy now expects unemployment to reach eight per cent by September, when previously Josh Frydenberg said that the treasury expected in April the jobless rate would peak at 10 per cent in the June quarter before recovering.

Tags: 
Unemployment Jobs Growth

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