Official figures come bearing some good news for the Australian economy, revealing Australia’s unemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage points to 6.1% in August. The unemployment rate reached a 12 year high of 6.4% in July.
The drop in unemployment was driven by a record increase in the number of jobs created, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics
reporting that the number of people employed increased by 121,000 in August. This is the largest monthly gain recorded by the ABS since the figures go back to 1978.
The increase in August was driven by part-time employment. Part-time employment increased by 106,700, while full-time employment increased by 14,300. The increase in part-time employment was observed in all states and territories except the Australian Capital Territory.
The employment to population ratio, which expresses the number of employed persons as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over, increased 0.6 percentage points to 61.3%.
Economists had expected the unemployment rate to scale back after hitting its 12 year high in July, but they did not expect such a large decline. The ABC
reported that the median forecast was for just 15,000 jobs to be added and unemployment to sit at 6.3%.
The Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens
is remaining conservative about employment in the near future.
“The Bank's assessment remains that the labour market has a degree of spare capacity and that it will probably be some time yet before unemployment declines consistently,” he said in his statement
outlining the Bank’s decision to keep the cash rate on hold at 2.5% earlier this month.