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30,000 jobs lost in September, but unemployment rate remains steady

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
15 October 2020 1 minute readShare

Almost 30,000 jobs were lost last month, with the unemployment rate expanding slightly to 6.9 per cent or 1.7 percentage points higher than a year ago.

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed a decrease in employed people by 29,500 in September, with jobs lost mainly by full-time employees.

However, despite the high number of job losses, Aussies officially classed as unemployed edged up by 11,300, with the unemployment rate moving from 6.8 per cent to 6.9 per cent. 

This is a result of a drop in the participation rate by 0.1 of a percentage point to 64.8 per cent, meaning that the number of people not looking for work has expanded.

“This is the second month in a row where there has not been much change in the national participation rate, following the recovery in June and July. The decrease of 0.1 [of a percentage point] in September follows an increase of 0.2 [of a percentage point] in August,” said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics.

The Victorian participation rate fell by 1.0 percentage point in September and was 3.4 percentage points below March, cushioning the state’s unemployment rate and seeing it decrease from 7.1 per cent to 6.7 per cent.

“The September data provides further insights into the labour market impacts from the stage 4 restrictions in Victoria,” Mr Jarvis said.

“Employment in Victoria decreased by 36,000, following a fall of 37,000 in August. Hours worked in the state fell by a further 2.1 per cent, following the 4.6 per cent fall in August.”

Country-wide, hours worked increased by 8.7 million hours to 1,688 million hours in September, but were down 5 per cent year-on-year.

According to SEEK’s latest jobs report, job ads were up by 9.2 per cent month-on-month, but down by 20.9 per cent year-on-year in September.

“This month, we have seen strong growth across all states and territories nationally, resulting in a healthy month-on-month growth,” said Kendra Banks, managing director at SEEK ANZ.

“With last week’s federal budget including a focus on jobs and employment, together with the potential easing of restrictions in Victoria, we will be watching with interest to see if this positive trend continues.”

30,000 jobs lost in September, but unemployment rate remains steady
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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