Release type: Media Release


ABS labour force figures for November


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

The labour force figures released today by the ABS show that labour market conditions in Australia continued to recover in November, with employment exceeding market expectations and increasing by 90,000 over the month.  

Encouragingly, full-time jobs surged by 84,200 (or 1.0 per cent in November) following the strong rise of 98,700 in October and accounted for the vast majority of employment growth over the month. 

Part-time employment also rose in November, by 5,800 (or 0.1 per cent).

Labour market conditions continued to recover strongly in Victoria, with employment increasing by 74,000 or 2.2 per cent in November, the largest increase of all states and territories. Employment also rose in New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania but fell in the remaining jurisdictions.

Importantly, due to COVID-19 employment fell by 872,100 between March and May, however it has since increased by 734,400 over the last six months.

Hours worked also increased in November, by 42.8 million hours (or 2.5 per cent) but remain 25.8 million hours (or 1.5 per cent) lower than in March.

The level of unemployment in Australia fell by 17,300 (or 1.8 per cent) to 942,100 in November. 

The unemployment rate also decreased in November, by 0.2 percentage points, to 6.8 per cent, but is well above the 5.2 per cent recorded in March.

The participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage points over the month, to an equal record high of 66.1 per cent in November 2020. Significantly, the participation rate is now above the 65.9 per cent recorded in March.

Encouragingly, the youth participation rate rose by 1.5 percentage points over the month, to 69.7 per cent in November 2020, the highest rate recorded since March 2009. 

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the Government remains acutely aware that the economic and labour market fallout from COVID-19 will continue for some time to come.

“That is why the Morrison Government has committed an unprecedented $507 billion in economic support, to help rebuild the economy and put Australia back on the road to recovery,” Minister Cash said.

“This includes $257 billion in direct economic support including more than $101 billion in JobKeeper payments to help cushion the impact of COVID-19 which has led to the most severe global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

“This is the single largest economic support measure that any Australian Government has introduced, which will help mitigate the difficulties that businesses and employees are encountering as a result of COVID-19.”

The Morrison Government’s Economic Recovery Plan, has been described by the OECD as key to saving jobs and will also continue to help boost Australia’s economic recovery, create further employment opportunities and help to secure this country’s economic future.