Close this search box.

Unemployment rate drops to lowest since 2008

You bos showing apprentice in construction the ropes
You bos showing apprentice in construction the ropes

Head of labour statistics at the ABS, Bjorn Jarvis said: “With employment increasing by 77,000 people and unemployment falling by 19,000, the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points, to 4.0 per cent.

“The 3.8 per cent unemployment rate for women was the lowest since May 1974. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for men fell to 4.2 per cent, its second lowest level since November 2008 and just above the rate from December 2021 of 4.1 per cent.”

For the fourth month in a row, employment has increased and in February this was by 77,000 people (or 0.6 per cent), approximately 200,000 people higher than the pre-Delta period of June 2021.

Recovery after January’s high number of people on leave due to the Omicron strain (which saw a large fall of 8.6 percent of hours worked) has seen the hours worked by Australians now up 8.9 percent.

“While hours worked rebounded in February, they were still around 0.5 per cent below December, and also still slightly below (0.2 per cent) the pre-Delta period high of May 2021, reflecting a second month of impacts associated with the Omicron variant,” Mr Jarvis said.

Pleasingly also, the underemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 6.6 per cent. This was 2.2 percentage points lower than March 2020 (8.8 per cent) and the lowest it had been since November 2008.

March figures are expected to be impacted by the large scale flooding events in Queensland and New South Wales and the ABS has stated that the disruption to survey activities increased with the severity of flooding and their major impact on the affected communities but they will undertake additional quality assurance to ensure these impacts on states and national estimates is minimised to only localised and detailed regional estimates.

Paul Miles, Managing Director for The BUSY Group who provide a range of education, apprenticeship, employment and community service programs stated, “It is pleasing to see more Australians working and a recovery trend since the impact of COVID-19.

“Sadly, many communities in Queensland and New South Wales have been severely impacted due to the floods and our hearts go out to them. We are yet to see the full impact of this on working Australians in these communities for the short and the long term future. The BUSY Group is continuing to support these community members as much as possible with assistance into work”.

For more information on The BUSY Group, visit


Australian Bureau of Statistics

Skip to content