Figures from the Australian Bureau of statistics shows that the unemployment rate nationally has remained steady at 5.1%.
ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: “The unemployment rate has remained at 5.1 per cent for a second month, supported by strong participation in the labour force, at 65.7 per cent.”
While the trend unemployment rate increased in the Coalition states like South Australia, Tasmania, but has decreased in some Labor states like Queensland.
While the unemployment rate has remained steady on a national level, weekly earnings still remain low. The average weekly ordinary time earnings increased by only 1.2% of the last six months and saw an annual increase of only just 2.4%.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said “Australian workers need pay rises but we are not getting them. The system is broken, it needs to be fixed and rebalanced. We’ve had six years of unrelenting low wage growth under this [ Coalition] government.”
In January 2019, trend monthly employment increased by 24,900 persons. Full-time employment increased by 16,800 persons and part-time employment increased by 8,100 persons.
Over the past year, trend employment increased by 295,500 persons (2.4 %) which was above the average annual growth over the past 20 years (2.0 per cent).
The trend employment to population ratio, which shows how employed the population is, rose to a 10 year high of 62.4 per cent.
“The 15-64 year old employment to population ratio reached a historical high of 74.1 per cent, with almost three of every four ‘working age’ Australians now employed”, Mr Hockman said.
The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.1 per cent in January 2019 and by 1.6 per cent over the past year. This was slightly below the 20 year average year-on-year growth of 1.7 per cent.
The trend monthly underemployment rate remained steady at 8.3 per cent and decreased by 0.3 percentage points over the year. The trend underutilisation rate also remained steady at 13.3 per cent, and decreased by 0.7 percentage points over the past year.