Trend unemployment rate steady at 5.0%

Australia’s trend unemployment rate remained steady in February 2019 at 5.0 per cent, from a revised January 2019 figure, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: “The trend unemployment rate declined 0.5 percentage points over the year, from 5.5 per cent to 5.0 per cent. The pace of decline slowed in recent months, which was consistent with the slowdown seen in recent Job Vacancies and GDP numbers.”

Employment and hours

In February 2019, trend monthly employment increased by 20,600 persons. Full-time employment increased by 12,300 persons and part-time employment increased by 8,200 persons.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 290,700 persons (2.3 per cent) which was above the average annual growth over the past 20 years (2.0 per cent).

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.1 per cent in February 2019 and by 1.9 per cent over the past year. This was slightly above the 20 year average year-on-year growth of 1.7 per cent.

Underemployment and underutilisation

The trend monthly underemployment rate decreased by less than 0.1 percentage points to 8.1 per cent in February and by 0.4 percentage points over the year. The trend underutilisation rate decreased less than 0.1 percentage points to 13.1 per cent, and by 0.9 percentage points over the year.

States and territories trend unemployment rate

The trend unemployment rate increased in Tasmania, decreased in Queensland, and remained steady in all other states and territories.

Seasonally adjusted data

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point to 4.9 per cent in February 2019, while the participation rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 65.6 per cent. The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 4,600.

The net movement of employed in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms is underpinned by around 300,000 people entering and leaving employment in the month.

These publications are available for free download (after release) from the ABS website:

/ABS Public Release. View in full here.