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Unemployment ticks up to 7.4% despite growing job market

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
16 July 2020 1 minute readShare

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed the unemployment rate has gone up from 7.1 per cent to 7.4 per cent from May to June despite the addition of more than 200,000 jobs in that period.

The 210,800 increase in employment was underpinned by a large increase in part-time employment (249,000 people) and a further decrease in full-time employment (38,100 people), the ABS said.

Overall, the percentage of people employed in Australia increased by 1.0 percentage point to 59.2 per cent, up from a low of 58.2 per cent in May.

The ABS noted unemployment increased by 69,300 people to 992,300, with around 70 per cent of newly unemployed people in June not in the labour force in May.

The underemployment rate decreased by 1.4 percentage points to 11.7 per cent, but remained 2.9 percentage points above March.

Meanwhile, the underutilisation rate — combining the unemployment and underemployment rates — fell by 1.0 percentage point to 19.1 per cent.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said around 24 per cent of the fall in employment through to May had been regained in June.

“The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in June saw an extra 280,000 people in the labour force, with more people in employment and more actively looking and available for work,” he said.

Job market growing monthly but still well down on 2019

The SEEK employment data for June revealed a 41.5 per cent month-on-month growth in jobs advertised, with trades and services (51 per cent), healthcare and medical (34 per cent) and hospitality and tourism (80 per cent) the largest contributors.

Despite the monthly growth, jobs advertised are still 32.8 per cent down on the same month last year.

SEEK managing director for Australia and New Zealand Kendra Banks said June employment data showed positive job ad growth for all states and territories for the second consecutive month.

However, she noted recent restrictions in Victoria have meant that we’re seeing job ad volumes beginning to slow in the state.

“New South Wales job ad volumes were up by 41.9 per cent in June when compared to May, and we saw more opportunities for jobseekers in the Sydney metropolitan area and surrounding regions than we have seen for some time,” Ms Banks said.

“Queensland also tracked well in June, with job ad volumes up by 42.4 per cent month-on-month.

“Areas such as the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast showed strong employment opportunities across a range of industries including hospitality and tourism (up by 70 per cent), trades and services (up by 33 per cent) and healthcare and medical (up by 19 per cent) month-on-month.”

Unemployment ticks up to 7.4% despite growing job market
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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