70,700 new jobs created in Australia this March

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that 70,700 net new jobs were created in March, double the expected 35,000.
By: | April 19, 2021

This figure brings the employment number in the country to a record 13.08 million, recovering all the 878,000 jobs lost due to lockdowns. 

The unemployment rate fell to 5.6% in March from the 5.8% in February, and lower than the peak seen last July when the pandemic brought the economy into recession. The participation rate rose to 66.3%, higher than economists’ forecast of 66.1%. 

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said, “Employment and hours worked in March 2021 were both higher than March 2020, up by 0.6% and 1.2%.” In addition, “the proportion of women employed was the highest it’s ever been”. 

Australia’s economy is on the mend as cashed-up households are encouraged to spend and firms consider investing. In turn, that has stoked hiring and Australians to resume job-hunting, enlarging the labour force and further strengthening the economic outlook. 

Nevertheless, the ending of the government’s wage subsidy JobKeeper programme on March 28 could disrupt the labour market’s upward trend, with the Treasury estimating that 150,000 jobs could be lost due to the programme’s expiry. 

READ: Australia gives cash incentive for unemployed to relocate for work

Yet sentiment reports have showed business conditions soaring to a record high – with hiring intentions strong – and consumer confidence rising to the highest level since 2010, suggesting that the end of JobKeeper had little effect on households and companies, according to The Edge Markets.