The number of Australians in jobs remains at record highs and more of them are in secure full-time work – but there’s still more to do.
New labour force figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today show that total employment increased by 64,000 in November 2022.
The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.4 per cent, while the participation rate rose to an equal record high of 66.8 per cent.
The Government welcomes the increase in both full-time employment and part-time employment, as well as the youth participation rate hitting its highest rate since 1990.
While the historically low unemployment rate and high rates of participation are welcome news, we’re only just starting to see green shoots when it comes to wages growth.
Due to a decade of deliberate wage stagnation under our predecessors and the rising cost of living, workers’ real wages are still going backwards which is why our plan to fight inflation and get wages moving again is so important.
This Government believes in getting wages moving again – that’s why one of the first things we did after the election was help secure a pay rise for Australia’s lowest paid workers.
We backed up this commitment by supporting and securing a wage rise for aged care workers.
The Government Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation will also help get wages moving. By modernising the bargaining system, we will see more workplace agreements, delivering better productivity and flexibility for employers and better pay and conditions for workers.
Today’s seasonally adjusted figures show:
- The level of employment increased by 64,000 over the month, to a record high of 13,769,400 in November 2022.
- Full-time employment rose over the month, by 34,200, to a record high of 9,601,500 in November 2022.
- The unemployment rate remained steady over the month, at 3.4 per cent in November 2022. The unemployment rate has not been lower than this since 1974.
- The participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points over the month, to an equal record high of 66.8 per cent in November 2022.
- The female participation rate increased from 62.3 per cent in October 2022, to a record high of 62.4 per cent in November 2022.
- The employment-to-population ratio increased by 0.2 percentage points over the month, to a record high of 64.5 per cent in November 2022.
- The youth employment-to-population ratio increased by 0.6 percentage points over the month, to a record high of 67.0 per cent in November 2022.
- The youth participation rate increased by 1.3 percentage points over the month, to 72.7 per cent in November 2022, the highest rate recorded since July 1990.
- The underemployment rate decreased from 6.0 per cent in October 2022, to 5.8 per cent in November 2022, the equal lowest rate recorded since August 2008.
- The underutilisation rate, which combines the unemployment and underemployment rates, fell by 0.1 percentage points over the month, to 9.3 per cent in November, the lowest rate recorded in 40 years.
While strong employment figures are clearly good news, there are still too many Australians in insecure work. The most recent ABS data show that in August 2022:
- There were still nearly 2.7 million casual employees with no paid leave entitlements.
- There were almost 390,000 employees on fixed-term contracts - more than 60 per cent were women; and more than half of fixed term employees have been with their employer for one year or over.
Whether it’s getting wages moving again or taking the sting out of rising energy prices, we want make it easier for Australians to provide for their loved ones - and build an economy that delivers more opportunities for more people in more parts of our country.
Today’s figures are welcome news but there’s still more work to do to bring the system up to date.
The Albanese Government will deliver a second tranche of workplace relations reforms next year to close the loopholes that are undermining job security and wage growth.