Australian labour market – unemployment rises as participation rises despite strong employment growth

Today (December 14, 2023), the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest – Labour Force, Australia – for November 2023. Employment growth remains strong with a surprise uptick in full-time employment. With participation rising by 0.2 points, the increase in the labour force outstripped the strong employment change, which meant that the unemployment rose by 0.1 points. If the participation rate had not have changed, then the official unemployment rate would be 3.5 per cent rather than the official rate published of 3.9 per cent. Underemployment also rose – there are now 10.4 per cent of the available and willing working age population who are being wasted in one way or another – either unemployed or underemployed. Australia is not near full employment despite the claims by the mainstream commentators and it is hard to characterise this as a ‘tight’ labour market.

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