Head of labour statistics at the ABS, Bjorn Jarvis said: “With employment increasing by 18,000 people and unemployment falling by 12,000, the unemployment rate decreased slightly in March, though remained at 4.0 per cent in rounded terms.”
Increasing at a faster rate was women’s participation in the workforce, as indicated in the February figures last month, and largely due to the return to work after Covid, with many women working in the hospitality and care sectors.
“The unemployment rate for women fell from 3.8 per cent to 3.7 per cent, the lowest it has been since May 1974. It remained at 4.2 per cent for men, its second lowest level since November 2008 and just above the rate from December 2021 of 4.1 per cent,” Mr Jarvis said.
The same indicators for youth employment post-Covid are also evident with employment of those aged between 15 and 24 years, increasing by 36,000 in March 2022.
“While young people were particularly impacted early in the pandemic and during the Delta period, we have continued to see strong increases in youth employment over the past year. The youth employment-to-population ratio in March was the highest it had been since August 2008, at 64.8 per cent, and 4.6 percentage points higher than the start of the pandemic,” Mr Jarvis said.
However, seasonally adjusted hours worked decreased by 0.6 per cent. This was largely attributed to the impact of the Omicron variant still causing a high number of people to be away from work, as well as the impact of the floods in NSW and QLD, and a higher than usual number of people who reported working reduced hours.
Mr Jarvis further stated: “The fall in hours in March follows falls in payroll jobs and wages over the same period. Like hours, that data can show larger short-term changes than for employment, because employees may be away from paid work for a short period without losing their job.”
The participation rate remained at 66.4 per cent, in rounded terms, which is also on par with the record high in February 2022.
Managing Director for The BUSY Group, Paul Miles, stated: “The recent announcement by the Australian Government to continue investing in vocational skills training through apprenticeships and traineeships has seen businesses employing more apprentices and trainees. This can only benefit Australia in the long run with a stronger, skilled workforce and provide increased opportunities that particularly benefit young people starting in a career, as well as women looking to enter a non-traditional trade.
“For employers, there has never been a better time to put on a new apprentice or trainee in their workplace with 50% wage subsidy savings under the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements initiative recently extended until June 30 this year”.
For more information on Australian Apprenticeship Support Network services visit www.busyatwork.com.au
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics