Australia’s unemployment falls to 5.1% in May 2021

The number of employed women rose by 69,000, while the number of employed men increased by 46,000.
By: | June 22, 2021

Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1% in May, with employment rising by 115,000 people from April to May, according to official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“The unemployment rate fell to 5.1%, which was below March 2020 (5.3%) and back to the level in February 2020 (5.1%). The declining unemployment rate continues to align with the strong increases in job vacancies,” noted Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS.

“The number of unemployed people fell by 53,000 in May, down to 701,000. The number of unemployed people has fallen by around 303,000 since the peak of 1 million unemployed people in July 2020,” he said.

Jarvis added: “The youth unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points but remained low, at 10.7%. The last time we saw a youth unemployment rate as low as in April and May 2021 was in January 2009.”   

Gender-wise, the number of employed women rose by 69,000 in May, while the number of employed men increased by 46,000.  Female employment was 1.6% above the start of the pandemic, compared with 0.5% for men.

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“The increase in female employment in May means that a higher percentage of women were in paid work than ever before – 58.8%, 0.7 percentage points higher than the start of the pandemic. The difference was even greater for women aged 15 to 64, whose employment-to-population ratio in May was 1.5 percentage points above March 2020,” Jarvis noted.