MEDIA RELEASE: Unemployment Up – But Employment Increases

The unemployment rate of 6.3% (s adj) has reached a 12-year high, increasing slightly from the previous month.

However, data reveals a modest improvement in the labour market as employment rose by 42,700 (0.4%) in November 2014. Despite this, the growth of 1.5% in demand for labour over the past 12 months is still failing to keep pace with the growth in the working age population of 1.8%.

Youth unemployment has also continued to increase significantly. In November 2013 the unemployment rate for persons aged 15 to 19 years was 16.5%. The latest figures show the rate to have risen considerably to 20.1%. February 1997 was the last time that youth unemployment was greater than what it is today. Such a record high level indicates poor employment prospects for first-time job seekers.

Additionally, the Australian labour market is also faced with the issue of growing underemployment. The labour force underutilisation rate for November 2014 is 15.0%, the highest rate since November 1997. This increase is largely due to the growth in part-time employment in comparison to full-time employment. The latest figures show that while part time employment increased by 40,900 in November whereas full time employment increased by 1,800.

These developments in the labour market emphasise the need for deregulation of workplace relations and the establishment of a much more flexible market.

Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)