Australia’s economy continued its impressive streak of jobs growth in December 2017, with female labour participation reaching record highs.
Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal the economy added 17,000 full-time jobs and a further 8,000 part-time jobs in the month.
“Full-time employment has now increased by around 322,000 persons since December 2016, and makes up the majority of the 393,000 net increase in employment over the period,” said ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman.
That increase of the past year equates to a 3.3 per cent rise in employment – almost double the year-on-year average over the last 20 years of 1.9 per cent.
A participation rate of 65.5 per cent – the highest since March 2011 – saw the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edge up 0.1 per cent to 5.5 per cent. However the more reliable trend rate – the ABS’s preferred measure – went the other way, dropping by the same proportion to 5.4 per cent.
Interestingly a greater proportion of women are now in the workforce than ever before. Having increased steadily throughout 2017, the female labour force participation rate rose to a new high of 60.4 per cent.
Breaking down the results, Queensland and the ACT saw the strongest jobs growth, up 4.6 per cent over the year, followed by NSW at 3.5 per cent.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.