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January Labour Force Figures a Promising Start

According to the most recent labour force figures for January, just released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 218,600 more persons employed full-time and 76,800 more persons employed part-time in Australia, compared to twelve months ago.

Further, over the past year, trend employment increased by 295,500 persons (or 2.4%), which was above the average annual growth rate over the past 20 years of 2.0%. Over the same 12 month period the trend employment to population ratio, which is a measure of how employed the population (aged 15 years and over) is, increased by 0.4 percentage points (pts) to 62.4%.

In monthly terms, trend employment increased by 24,900 persons between December 2018 and January 2019. This represents an increase of 0.20%, which was above the monthly average growth rate over the past 20 years of 0.16%.

Overall, employment trends remained consistent with the latter half of 2018, seeing the unemployment rate remain steady at 5.1% and the underemployment rate remaining steady at 8.3%.

The positive trends were not consistent Australia-wide however, with increases in trend employment observed in most states and territories except Western Australia (down 1,700 persons),Tasmania (down 300 persons) and South Australia (down 200 persons). The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 11,200 persons), followed by Victoria (up 10,300 persons) and Queensland (up 3,500 persons).

Youth unemployment still remains high at 11.4% but has decreased by 0.9pts in the past year.

“Addressing youth unemployment and skills gaps is key to our future workforce and there are incentives for young persons and employers in skills-gaps industries that can be accessed, through apprenticeship and traineeship paths. These industries include construction, community services such as child care and aged care, telecommunications, the food industry and more”, Paul Miles, Managing Director for BUSY At Work stated. “With school-based apprenticeship paths, young people can get an early start as well, where practical work skills become part of their school curriculum”, he further stated.

Current apprenticeship or traineeship opportunities, including school-based apprenticeships can be found on the Apprenticeship Central website.


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