Latest Labour Force Report: April 2011

In their latest Labour Force Report, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that Australia’s unemployment rate is steady at 4.9 per cent. Low compared to the US whose unemployment rate currently stands at 9%, the UK at 7.8% and Canada at 7.6%. The Australian male unemployment rate increased 0.1 pts to 4.7% and the female unemployment rate decreased 0.3 pts to 5.0%.

When looking at seasonally adjusted estimates, that is removing the estimated effects of normal seasonal variation, the ABS report also showed that overall employment decreased 22,100 (0.2%) to 11,436,500. This is due to a drop in full-time employment by 49,100 to 8,056,800 which was partially offset by an increase in part-time employment by 26,900 to 3,379,700.

The report also shows that the number of persons looking for full-time work decreased 1,700 to 413,000 and the number of persons looking for part-time work decreased 8,100 to 170,000. And the aggregate monthly hours worked decreased 14.7 million hours to 1,601.6 million hours.

Trend estimates are produced by smoothing out seasonally adjusted series to reduce the impact of the irregularities in order to analyse the underlying behaviour of a series over time. This sort of data enables the ABS to assess how real world forces affect levels of social and economic activities over time. Looked at on a period to period basis, these series are typically volatile, so to understand the underlying level of socioeconomic activity a smoothing mechanism is required to arrive at trend estimates. (For more on seasonally adjusted series versus time series, click here).

In their April 2011 report, the ABS found the following trend estimates…

  • Employment increased to 11,446,100.
  • Unemployment decreased to 585,700.
  • Unemployment rate steady at 4.9%.
  • Participation rate steady at 65.7%.
  • Aggregate monthly hours worked increased to 1,606.6 million hours.

Click here to see the ABS’ findings and previous Labour Force Reports.

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