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Slight rise in unemployment shows promising signs of recovery

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
19 November 2020 1 minute readShare
Slight rise in unemployment

A slight 0.1 of a percentage point increase in the unemployment rate was offset by a significant rise in the participation rate, according to the latest job figures.

The job data for October from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that the participation rate increased by 0.9 of a percentage point (25,500 people).

The ABS said the strong rise in participation resulted in a slight increase in the unemployment rate from 6.9 per cent in September to 7.0 per cent in October.

In Victoria, where restrictions began to ease in October, the participation rate increased by 2.0 percentage points and was 1.4 percentage points below March, while its unemployment rate increased by 0.7 of a percentage point to 7.4 per cent.

Victoria’s employment increased by 81,600 people (2.5 per cent), while employment and hours worked in Victoria remained at 4.1 per cent and 9.0 per cent below March (compared to 1.7 per cent and 3.8 per cent for the rest of Australia).

“The number of people actively looking for work and who were available to start work increased in October,” said ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis.

“Coupled with a strong increase in employment, the participation rate increased by almost a whole percentage point in October to be just 0.1 [of a percentage point] below March.

“Although the unemployment rate increased marginally over October, a sharp increase in jobs and a surge in the workforce reinforces Australia’s strong economic recovery — with Victoria now well and truly on board.”

The ABS reports that the unemployment rate increased from 6.9 per cent to 7.0 per cent over October. However, the higher jobless rate reflects a surge in the workforce from previously discouraged workers.

Archistar chief economist Andrew Wilson said the latest figures are a good news for the Australian economy, especially in Victoria.

“The national participation rate increased sharply over October from 64.6 per cent to 65.5 per cent, impacted significantly by a remarkable rise of 105,795 in the Victorian workforce — clearly reflecting the impact of the recent easing of coronavirus shutdown restrictions in that state,” Mr Wilson said.

“Victoria also added 85,152 new jobs over October, with [Queensland] also strong with employment rising by 53,287 over the month and the overall workforce increasing by 55,109.”

NSW reported the lowest state unemployment rate at 6.5 per cent, down from 7.2 per cent the previous month, something Mr Wilson said reflects ongoing strong jobs growth and a stable workforce.

“Australia’s economic recovery remains on track, with a Victorian revival now adding more certainty for an ongoing positive outlook,” he said.

“The key as usual is the continued control of the coronavirus.”

Slight rise in unemployment shows promising signs of recovery
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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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