Latest jobs figures have given cause for optimism in the economy’s outlook, despite well-publicised concerns about flat wages.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed an 11th straight increase in monthly trend full-time employment last month, with the economy adding 22,000 full-time jobs. Part-time employment also increased, but by a more moderate 6,000 jobs.
The overall unemployment rate remained stable at 5.6 per cent, as the participation rate increased to 65.2 per cent – the highest since April 2012.
“Full-time employment has now increased by around 253,000 persons since August 2016, and makes up the majority of the 307,000-person increase in employment over the period,” said ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman.
Interestingly, trend employment has increased by 2.6 per cent over the past year, according to Mr Hockman – above the 1.9 per cent average of the past 20 years.
Employment growth is also tracking above population growth in people aged 15 years and over, meaning that despite automation, the number of jobs in Australia is growing.
Posting the fastest rate of jobs growth nationally is Tasmania, climbing by 4 per cent. It was followed by Queensland (3.7 per cent) and Victoria (3.2 per cent).