Release type: Media Release


Labour Force figures - August


Senator the Hon Eric Abetz
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Employment
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Liberal Senator for Tasmania

Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz said labour force figures released today by the ABS show a substantial increase in the number of people employed in August – to a record level.

Seasonally adjusted employment grew by 17,400 in August, exceeding market expectations, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.2 per cent.

In the eight months of data this year, 167,000 jobs have been created – or 20,900 per month - with annual employment growth running at the strongest rate in over four years.

“The Australian economy is now $68 billion bigger than we inherited from Labor in September 2013,” Senator Abetz said.

“There are now around 313,000 more Australians in work than when we took office.

More Australians are now in work than ever before.”

Senator Abetz said these labour force results showed jobs growth in 2015 is now running at ten times the jobs growth legacy of the previous Government.

“Australia’s jobs growth over past year has been stronger than US, UK, Canada – indeed stronger than every G7 nation.”

Senator Abetz said the China Free Trade Agreement would also improve employment.

“The hard-won export agreement between China and Australia is good for trade, good for jobs and good for economic growth.

“It will mean more jobs for Australians.”

Senator Abetz also said that, looking over the two months since its introduction, the Government’s jobactive programme appears to have increased the rate of people looking for work.

The strong early success of jobactive saw around 40,000 more dole recipients being required to actively look for a job in July – and preliminary indications suggest another large increase in August. 

“jobactive means that people can no longer receive income support without actively looking for work or studying - the best form or welfare is a job.”

The Government is delivering stronger jobs growth right across the country by:

  • Investing $5.5 billion in the new Growing Jobs and Small Business package that will kick-start economic growth and lead to better outcomes for small business and the broader community;
  • Delivering $3.25 billion in tax cuts for small business and $1.75 billion in accelerated depreciation measures, in addition to the benefits small business is gaining from the abolition of the carbon tax;
  • Investing $6.8 billion in jobactive, the new employment services system, which will help unemployed Australians into sustainable jobs;
  • Investing a record $50 billion to build the infrastructure of the 21st century; and
  • Negotiating Free Trade Agreements which will attract growth, enhance investment and stimulate jobs growth.

“At the heart of the Coalition Government’s plan for Australia are lower taxes, more infrastructure and freer trade. Our economic plan is working,” Senator Abetz concluded.