Unemployment rate drops on fall in Participation

The September labour force data saw the headline, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Australia fall to 5.6% (after August was revised up from 5.6% to 5.7%) despite a loss of 9,800 (and a loss of 53,000 full-time) positions. The reason for the decline can be laid squarely at the decline in the Participation Rate which fell to 64.5; its lowest level since Oct 2014. On a Trend basis employment grew at 3,900 (its slowest pace since August 2014) while the unemployment rate was at 5.6%.161020

In Queensland we saw a similar story with the Participation Rate falling to 64.3, which is its lowest level since March 2004. As a result, despite a loss of 4,100 jobs, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.0% (from 6.2% in August). On a Trend basis, however, employment actually increased by 200; this is a tiny increase but at least it is the first positive in 8 months. 1610204

Next Thursday will see the ABS release the regional labour force data at which time we will be updating our Conus Trend QLD Regional Jobs series.


  1. Mark Beath says:

    October 21st, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Insights From Original Data commentary from ABS has an interesting note on the Queensland sample rotation this month with an adjustment apparently applied to the estimates.

    “The incoming rotation group in Queensland in September 2016 was noticeably different in its labour force characteristics to the group that it replaced, and to the rest of the Queensland sample rotation groups, with a greater level of influence on the current month’s estimate and movement estimate than usual.”

    Could be something to watch for in the regional data next week also.

  2. Pete Faulkner says:

    October 21st, 2016 at 4:52 am

    Thanks Mark. I saw that commentary from the ABS. Will be very hard to work out what impact that may or may not have on the regional data next week. Hopefully the impact on the Trend series will onyly be minimal in both the Conus and ABS series. Cheers, Pete

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