Finance Finance News Unemployment steady at 5.7 per cent

Unemployment steady at 5.7 per cent

unemployment rate
Job hunting hasn't recovered to pre-GFC levels, when the median job search was just 11 weeks. Photo: AAP
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Unemployment has remained unchanged at 5.7 per cent, with the estimated addition of 10,800 jobs last month.

The Bureau of Statistics figures for April show that a small decline in the proportion of people in work or looking for it helped hold the jobless rate steady, despite relatively weak employment growth.

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Most economists agree that Australia generally needs to create about 20,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate stable.

However, slowing population growth and last month’s decline in labour force participation meant that 10,800 jobs was enough.

Aside from a drop-off in people looking for work, the data also show 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.

Hours worked also dropped a steep 1.1 per cent in April to 1,614 million, seasonally adjusted.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected unemployment to come in at 5.8 per cent, with the addition of 12,000 jobs in April and steady participation at 64.9 per cent.

The news follows recent reports that Australian workers are experiencing record low wages growth with first quarter increases held at a mere 0.4 per cent, the slowest rate of growth since the index was introduced in 1997

The figures show there is a trend to part time employment with full-time jobs slipping for the third consecutive months.

With reporting by Rod Myer



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