Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in May, with employment increasing by 115,000 people from April to May, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Bjorn Jarvis, Head of Labour Statistics, said May was the seventh consecutive monthly fall in the unemployment rate. The figure is either below, or on par with, the unemployment rate immediately prior to Covid-19 impacting the economy in early 2020.
Jarvis said there were 701,000 unemployed people in May, a decrease of 53,000 over the previous month. The number of unemployed people in the country has now fallen by around 303,000 since the peak of 1-million unemployed people in July 2020.
Underemployment decreased slightly to 7.4 percent in May, its lowest level since January 2014.
Employment rate is ‘exceeding all market expectations’
The Federal employment minister, Stuart Robert, said that seasonally adjusted employment was “exceeding all market expectations”, with 13,125-million people now in work.
He noted that most of the rise in employment over the month was due to a robust increase in full-time employment, which rose by 97,500 (or 1.1 percent) in May.
“While Australia’s labour market rebound from the pandemic has beaten even the most optimistic of expectations, the Government remains acutely aware that more than 700,000 Australians remain out of work,” the minister said.
“This is why the Government’s 2021-22 Budget measures have been designed to cement Australia’s economic recovery and secure our prosperity through initiatives including: a further $15.2-billion in infrastructure investment; additional tax cuts for businesses and individuals; a further $2.7-billion to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program and; an additional $500-million to expand the JobTrainer Fund.”
WA has lowest unemployment for third month in a row
For the third month in a row, Western Australia recorded the lowest unemployment rate of all the states, with Premier Mark McGowan saying that the WA economy is “running hot” and being fuelled by new arrivals from interstate.
“Today’s labour force data again highlights the ongoing strength of the Western Australian economy, with the unemployment rate the lowest of [all] the states for a third consecutive month,” the Premier noted.
“More people are moving to Western Australia from the Eastern States to take advantage of the economic opportunities that our State has to offer and our strong handling of the pandemic.”