Kingston Institute Australia

Unemployment rate dips below 4 per cent, but job creation slows almost to a halt


                              Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.9 per cent, even though only 4,000 new jobs were created in April. 

Key points:
  • Australia’s unemployment rate has dropped below 4 per cent for the first time since the mid-1970s
  • But only 4,000 jobs were created last month, which was well below economist forecasts
  • Underemployment fell to its lowest level since the beginning of the global financial crisis in September 2008

It is the first time in the history of the monthly unemployment data — which goes back to 1978 — that the jobless rate has fallen below 4 per cent (when rounded to one decimal place).

“The last time the unemployment rate was lower than this was in August 1974, when the survey was quarterly,” noted Bjorn Jarvis, who heads labour statistics for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

A revision to the March figures means the drop to 3.9 actually occurred then, when unemployment was originally recorded at 4 per cent.

The ABS figures show workforce participation eased slightly to 66.3 per cent, driving most of the decline in unemployment.

Underemployment drops to pre-GFC levels

In better news, the underemployment rate fell again from 6.3 to 6.1 per cent, which is the lowest underemployment rate since September 2008, as the global financial crisis was just starting to buffet Australia.

“There were actually 92,000 full-time jobs created and 88,000 part-time jobs lost,” NAB economist Ivan Colhoun told ABC News Channel.

“So people switched to working more hours, so you could say that was good.”

For more visit ABC News, 19 May 2022-05-30