Australia’s unemployment rate falls to 4.6% in July

The country’s unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 4.6% in July month-on-month even amid the lockdown in greater Sydney.
By: | August 23, 2021

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed there were 2,200 jobs added to the labour market, while the number of unemployed people fell by 39,900. 

However, ABS has said the falling unemployment rate is not a sign of an improving jobs market as much of the improvement in unemployment was due to a decrease in the participation rate from 62.2% to 62.0%, as people dropped out of the labour market. 

In addition, the number of hours worked dropped by 3 million to 1,778 million in July, according to figures released by the ABS. Meanwhile, underemployment increased by 0.4 percentage points to 8.3%.  

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said it may seem “counterintuitive” that unemployment had fallen, but this “reflects the limited ability for people to actively look for work and be available for work during lockdowns”. 

“The fall in the national unemployment rate in July should not necessarily be viewed as a sign of strengthening in the labour market – it’s another indication of the extent of reduced capacity for people to be active in the labour market, in the states with the largest populations,” he said. 

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The number of unemployed people is 84,300 lower than in March 2020 when the pandemic first started. Youth unemployment was steady at 10.2%, which fell 1.4 percentage points compared to that in March 2020, according to The Guardian.