Another 26,000 Australians are officially unemployed due to a slight worsening in the monthly jobless rate, according to new figures.
The seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment rose to 5.9 per cent in February, up from 5.7 per cent the month before, Australia’s statistics bureau reported on Thursday morning.
It’s the highest the jobless rate has been since February last year, when it was 6 per cent.
As a result, the number of unemployed workers looking for full-time jobs increased by 10,800 to 523,800, while those looking for part-time work rose by 15,100 to 224,300.
Overall, 6400 fewer workers were labelled as “employed” in February, down to a total of 11.9 million. This was largely due to a drop in part-time employment, with the good news that an extra 27,100 Australian workers were full-time.
The difference between ‘26,000 more unemployed’ and only ‘6400 fewer employed’ is a difference in how the ABS measures those two things.
Even though it’s used widely around the world, there is some contention in Australia about the ABS definition of “employed”, as it counts a person who works at least one hour a week, even if unpaid.
Some experts prefer Roy Morgan Research’s estimates, which count anyone looking for work as ‘unemployed’.
The latest Roy Morgan jobs numbers show the ‘real’ unemployment rate improved from 9.7 to 9.4 per cent in February, although underemployment worsened from 8.2 to 8.5 per cent.