Unemployment Rate

Perth suffers biggest unemployment increase of any Australian capital city

Published by The Sunday Times, 12 April 2015 by Peter Law @PeterJohnLaw

Perth recorded the biggest unemployment rise of any major Australian capital city last year, with limited public transport in battler suburbs partly blamed.

The number out of work in the northeast suburb of Girrawheen soared almost 50 per cent in 2014 – one of the biggest increases anywhere in Australia.

The suburb’s population has boomed over the past five years, but suffers from poor public transport connections to work centres, according to local leaders.

In the 12 months to December 2014, the number of Girrawheen residents unemployed increased from 12.2 per cent to 17.9 per cent.

Neighbouring Balga and Mirrabooka had Perth’s worst jobless rate, rising from 14.4 per cent to 18.9 per cent, according to the Employment Department’s Small Area Labour Markets report.

Big rises were also recorded in Armadale-Brookdale (16.7 per cent unemployment rate) Gosnells (12.1 per cent), Marangaroo (8.8 per cent) and Yanchep (7.8 per cent).

Image Source The Sunday Times

Image Source The Sunday Times

Unemployment across Perth increased 23.5 per cent over the year, compared with Brisbane (13.5 per cent), Melbourne (12.7 per cent) and Adelaide (4.9 per cent), while Sydney recorded a 1.7 per cent drop.

The figures came after WA iron ore miner Atlas Iron announced it would suspend all mining operations because of plunging iron ore prices, with more than 500 people expected to lose their jobs.

Yesterday, Australia’s richest woman, WA mining magnate Gina Rinehart, warned Australia could experience a shocking deterioration in living standards as debt levels approached unchartered territory and commodity prices crashed.

Out of Perth’s labour force of 1.12 million people, the number of unemployed rose from 47,500 people to 58,700.

Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said Perth’s unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent was still the nation’s equal lowest and well below the national average of 6.2 per cent.

Professor Alan Duncan, director of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, said joblessness was rising faster in parts of Perth already with high unemployment.

To view the article in its entirety click here.

To view the Employment Department’s Small Area Labour Markets publications click here.

Surprise drop in unemployment rate eases pressure on RBA

The number of people employed rose by 37,400 to 11.67 million in December, against market expectations of 5000 newly employed. Photo: Tamara Voninski via Sydney Morning Herald

Australia’s unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped in December, surprising economists and easing pressure on the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut interest rates this year.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday that the number of people employed rose by 37,400 to 11.67 million in December, against market expectations of 5,000.

This took the official unemployment rate to 6.1 per cent from a revised 6.2 per cent in November, while the participation rate climbed from 64.7 per cent of the population to 64.8 per cent.

The figures were much better than expected, and the Australian dollar surged more than half a US cent on the news, to above US82.06 cents.

Economists immediately began re-examining their forecasts for cuts in the RBA’s 2.5 per cent cash rate this year, although many were cautious about the longer-term trend, the broader economic health of Australia, global factors and the reliability of the ABS labour force series. This was called into question last year after wild, inexplicable gyrations in the numbers from month to month.

“Again, based on errors from last year the data may not be as significant as it reflects,” said Quay Equities in note.

“However, on the data we do have it is a good yet volatile number, [which] probably gives the RBA the scope to delay any short term interest rate cuts,” Quay said.

Market expectations of rate cuts also eased on the jobs data. According to Credit Suisse, the chance of a quarter percentage point rate cut at the next RBA meeting early next month halved, from 19 per cent to 9 per cent on Thursday.

Immediately before the jobs data, traders were pricing in a more than 25 per cent chance of a cut.

The market still fully expects at least one rate cut this year, but the chance of an additional one has dropped to 44 per cent from 64 per cent.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Alex Joiner agreed, saying the result “clearly reduces pressure, which may have been building, for the RBA to ease policy in the short term”.

However, he also warned that the drop in unemployment could be short-lived.

“We continue to expect that the unemployment rate will rise in 2015, reaching a peak just over 6.5 per cent,” he said.

“In our view, this will be due to a combination of cyclical weakness and structural adjustment away from the resources sector.”

Despite yesterday’s figures, most Australian-based economist still expect a subdued growth rate this year, with falling commodity prices threatening jobs, government revenues and the profitability of numerous resource-related companies.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Corporation chief economist Warren Hogan said weaker growth and lower inflation in 2015 would “provide the RBA with a reason and the scope to take the cash rate down 50 basis points to 2 per cent over the first half of the year”, although the rate cut timing was revised to later in the year after the jobs data…

Read more by Mark Mulligan, Sydney Morning Herald 15 January 2015


long term unemployment logo aprilThe Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference will be held on the 9 -10 November 2015 Pullman on the Park, Melbourne. Visit the conference website for more information.

Rising Postgraduate Unemployment

Tim Dodd of The Australian Financial Review reported (17 September 2014) that Post Grad Figures
unemployment continues to rise for people with postgraduate degrees, especially architects, scientists, accountants and teachers.

Figures from Graduate Careers Australia show the 2013 unemployment rate for those seeking full-time work four months after graduation was 15.5 per cent for those with postgraduate diplomas and certificates, and 17.9 per cent for those who had completed a masters degree by coursework.

The job outcomes are the worst in nearly two decades for people holding diplomas and certificates and the worst on record for masters by coursework graduates.

However, in spite of the increasingly tough job market for postgraduates, the number of domestic postgraduate students in Australian universities continues to grow.

The Graduate Careers Council said it was “not possible to account for the difference between male and female postgraduate salaries in simple terms”.

Read the full story.

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Unemployment surges to 12-year high in Australia

6.4 per cent –  youth jobless figure hits 14 per cent

Economists had expected an extra 13,000 new jobs in July, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 6 per cent, but total employment fell marginally while the pool of unemployed swelled to almost 790,000 people.

Michael Janda from ABC News has reported that Bureau of Statistics figures show the jobless rate has surged from June’s reading of 6 per cent to 6.4 per cent over last month. This is the worst reading since August 2002.

Young people have been particularly hard-hit, with unemployment for 15-24-year-olds hitting 14.1 per cent – the highest level since October 2001.

The jobless rate for the 15-19-year-old subset jumped even more to 20.4 per cent – the highest since April 1997 – and was 30.1 per cent amongst those looking for full-time work…


Michael has further reported that politicians are playing the ‘blame game’ over the rising jobless total with each side of politics blaming each other for the jobs figures released yesterday.

Employment Minister Eric Abetz admits the 6.4 per cent unemployment figure is a very high rate, and says he does not know when it will fall.

“As to when unemployment figures will turn around will depend on a host of factors, our task as a Government is not to predict the future,” he said.

Queensland, youth hit hardest


  • NSW: Unemployment up from 5.7 to 5.9 per cent; participation steady at 63 per cent.
  • Vic: Unemployment up from 6.6 to 7 per cent; participation up from 64.2 to 64.7 per cent.
  • Qld: Unemployment up from 6.3 to 6.8 per cent; participation down from 66.3 to 66.2 per cent.
  • SA: Unemployment down from 7.3 to 7.2 per cent; participation down from 62.8 to 62.3 per cent.
  • WA: Unemployment up from 5 to 5.2 per cent; participation steady at 68.4 per cent.
  • Tas: Unemployment steady at 7.5 per cent; participation up from 60.9 to 61 per cent.
  • NT: Unemployment up from 4.5 to 4.8 per cent; participation down from 74.8 to 74.4 per cent.
  • ACT: Unemployment up from 3.8 to 3.9 per cent; participation steady at 71.2 per cent.

Source: ABS. All data seasonally adjusted, except Tasmania, NT and ACT which are trend, due to small sample size.
The full story by Michael Janda can be read on ABC News

Join the discussion on Youth Unemployment at the Longterm Unemployment Conference to be held 18-19 August at the QT Gold Coast. It is paramount to Australia’s future to pull in our unemployment rate and reduce the impact on key at-risk groups.

The conference will address further, the causes and programs needed to provide opportunities for at other high risk groups: Disability, Mature Age,  Indigenous and Regional Unemployed.  It will focus on “Building Capability” to create employment in the future with over 50 presentations on research, policy, programs and case studies.