This publication, updated annually, provides an overview of trends in the Australian labour market to support job seekers and providers, career advisers, those considering future training and work and people interested in labour market issues.
There are around 12.7 million people employed in Australia. More than two thirds work full-time, almost half are female and around 17% are self-employed. Young workers (aged 15 to 24 years) account for 15% of total employment. More than two thirds of Australian workers hold post-school qualifications.
Labour market conditions have been strong over the year, with the level of employment increasing by 271,300 (or 2.2%), well above the decade annual average rate of 1.7%. The increase in employment over the year was due, predominantly, to a rise in full-time employment, up by 236,100 (or 2.8%) to a record high of 8,743,100 in January 2019, while part-time employment increased by 35,200 (or 0.9%) to 4,008,700. Against the stronger backdrop, the unemployment rate declined from 5.5% in January 2018 to 5.0% in January 2019 (the equal lowest rate recorded since June 2011). The participation rate was steady over the year at 65.7%, the equal highest rate recorded since January 2011.
Despite the recent strength, some spare capacity remains evident in the labour market, with 1,093,800 underemployed workers (persons who are not fully employed and want, and are available for, more hours of work) in January 2019, equating to an underemployment rate of 8.1% in January 2019. Encouragingly, this is the lowest rate recorded since March 2015 and below the 8.8% recorded in January 2018. Long-term unemployment (LTU) fell by 11,800 (or 6.8%) over the year, to 161,000 in January 2019, but remains well above the trough recorded prior to the onset of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in September 2008.