Australian labour market – slight improvement in the situation despite rise in unemployment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released of the latest labour force data today (August 18, 2022) – Labour Force, Australia – for August 2022. WThe labour market improved slightly in August 2022 with employment and participation both increasing, but this was just reversing the joint decreases in July. The rise in the official unemployment rate from 3.4 to 3.5 per cent was due to the rise in the participation rate, which meant the modest employment growth could not absorb all the new entrants to the labour force. The underlying (‘What-if’) unemployment rate is closer to 6 per cent rather than the official rate of 3.5 per cent. There are still 1,320.4 thousand Australian workers without work in one way or another (officially unemployed or underemployed). The only reason the unemployment rate is so low is because the underlying population growth remains low after the border closures over the last two years. But that is changing as immigration increases. Overall, the situation improved a bit over August.

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