The ABS released their November labour force survey earlier today with the data portraying a mixed picture on the state of the labour market. Unemployment rose to 6.3% from 6.2% to reach the highest level since September 2002 while at the same time job creation accelerated at the fastest pace since March 2012. 42.7k net jobs were created, well above the 15k increase expected, with part time employment doing all of the heavy lifting with a gain of 40.9k reported.
Looking at the individual State and Territory performance NSW created the most roles with 19,600 while employment in the Northern Territory fell by 300. Western Australia, with an increase of 13,700, was the only State to record an increase in full time employment in excess of 10k. (Please note data from the States is seasonally-adjusted, those from the Territories is trend)
An increase in the participation rate to 64.7%, the highest level since April this year, was the chief catalyst behind the lift in unemployment despite the sharp jump in jobs created. Elsewhere the employment-to-population rate lifted to 60.7% from 60.5% although it remains well below the 61% level of a year ago.
Reflecting the headline jobs figure total part time employment rose to a record-high 3.578m as did overall employment which ticked up to 11.64m. Full time employment rose fractionally to 8.06m, the highest level seen in five months.
As suggested by the lift in the rate total unemployed increased to 777,655, the highest level since May 1997. Those looking for full time work swelled to 546k, overshadowing a decline in those looking for part time employment to 232k.
An increase in male unemployment was entirely responsible for the lift in total unemployment with an increase to 6.3% reported. This figure, the highest seen since September 2002, offset a fall in female unemployment from 6.4% to 6.2%.
In a sign that the economy is simply not growing fast enough to keep up with new entrants into the labour force youth unemployment, those aged 16-24, hit 14.5%, the highest level since October 2001. Male unemployment leapt to 15.2%, also the highest level since October 2001, while female unemployment surged to 13.2% from 12.8%, a level last seen in November 1998.
As you would expect given Australia’s growing population, the size of the labour force rose to 12.415m, a new record high.
To access the full ABS release click here: http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/meisubs.nsf/0/333D19DB6FA8BABFCA257DAA000C941F/$File/62020_nov%202014.pdf