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Unemployment rate remains at 3.4%

Data released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show November’s participation rate rose to a record high of 66.8%, last experienced in June this year, and coupled with the low unemployment rate of 3.4%, continues to pressure the Australian labour market.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said: “The record high participation rate continues to show that it is a tight labour market, especially when coupled with very low unemployment,” Mr Jarvis said.”

With seasonally adjusted employment increasing by 64,000 people (0.5 per cent) in November 2022, the employment to population ratio rose to a record high of 64.5 per cent.

“The employment growth in November is consistent with other labour market indicators showing continuing growth through 2022, such as payroll jobs data. Along with the continued strength in employment, hours worked are also well above pre-pandemic levels,” Mr Jarvis said.

Despite the strong labour market, Covid continues to make its impact with a higher than usual number of people working reduced hours due to illness.

“In November, we saw the number of people working reduced hours due to illness increasing by 50,000, back over half a million people (520,000), which is still around a third higher than we usually see at this time of the year,” Mr Jarvis said.

With the tight labour market, we are now seeing a decrease in under-employment, with more people working full time hours than we experienced pre-pandemic.

“Around 68.3 per cent of employed people were full-time workers just prior to the pandemic, having generally trended down over the decades through to 2017. It has now increased to 69.7 per cent in November 2022 – around where it was close to a decade ago,” Mr Jarvis said.

Paul Miles, Managing Director of The BUSY Group stated: “It’s encouraging to see that more people are working increased and full time hours. There is still a marked skills shortage in Australia and the government is addressing this by offering incentives in priority industries, particularly for apprenticeships and traineeships. If there is a new career path you are considering for 2023, or you work in an industry experiencing a skills shortage, we encourage you to find out more”.

Find out more about Apprenticeships Priority List.

For more information on apprenticeships, recruitment and career support programs provided by BUSY At Work, visit

Source:  Australian Bureau of Statistics

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