Release type: Media Release


Labour force figures - April


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment
Minister for Women
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Western Australia

Employment figures released today by the ABS are encouraging, yet highlight the need to continue the Turnbull Government’s unwavering focus on economic growth and job creation.

In April, seasonally adjusted employment rose by 37,400 to a record high of 12,099,300. The unemployment rate dropped from 5.9 to 5.7 per cent, with the number of unemployed Australians falling by 19,100.

Following last month’s substantial surge of 73,900, full-time employment fell by 11,600 in April, with part-time employment rising by 49,000. Importantly, trend full-time employment has now been increasing for six consecutive months.

Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said today’s results are positive, reflect the growing confidence in the economy and demonstrate Australia’s economic transition is continuing well.

"While the Government is aware that the monthly figures can be volatile, today’s data clearly shows the economy is transitioning well, employers are continuing to hire and our employment fundamentals are strong,” Minister Cash said.

"Since the Coalition was elected in 2013, the economy has added 633,300 jobs, representing an increase of 5.5 per cent.

"I am pleased to see that the youth unemployment rate has declined from 13.2 to 12.8 per cent, and the Government looks forward to seeing this number decline further as the Youth Jobs PaTH program expands.

"The Turnbull Government has an unwavering focus on implementing a comprehensive set of policies which will stimulate investment, promote economic growth and boost job creation across the country.

"We are investing in Australians who are looking for work, as demonstrated by today’s announcement of the national expansion of the successful ParentsNext program.

"We are incentivising businesses to expand and create employment opportunities whilst providing Australians with the comprehensive services, support and resources they need to take advantage of these opportunities.”

To promote economic growth and boost job creation, the 2017-18 Budget includes $75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing from 2017-18 to 2026-27.

  • The Government will establish a $10 billion National Rail Program to deliver rail projects that provide better connections for our cities and regions and create new opportunities to grow our economy.
  • The Western Sydney Airport Corporation will be established to build and operate the new Western Sydney airport, which will create 20,000 jobs by the early 2030s and 60,000 over the longer term. Up to $5.3 billion in equity will be injected over the next 10 years into this company.
  • The Productivity Commission recently highlighted that some regional areas have been disconnected from our national growth. The Regional Growth Fund will invest $472 million in regional infrastructure projects that back our regions’ plans to adapt to the changes taking place in the economy. This will include $200 million for a further round of the successful Building Better Regions Fund.
  • In one of the biggest investments seen in regional Australia, the Government will fund the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project, with $8.4 billion in equity to be provided to the Australian Rail Track Corporation, which will support 16,000 jobs at the peak of construction.

The Skilling Australians Fund will also provide ongoing funding to support the training of Australians. An estimated $1.5 billion will be provided to State and Territory governments over the first four years. Spending from the fund will be prioritised towards apprenticeships and traineeships.

  • When matched with state and territory funding, the Skilling Australians Fund will support up to 300,000 apprentices, trainees, pre-apprentices and higher level skilled Australians.

The Government has also announced measures in the Budget to support some of the most vulnerable people in Australia, including:

  • A $263 million investment over four years from 2017-18 to expand ParentsNext services nationally, providing support to parents of young children to plan and prepare for employment.
  • A $55.7 million Indigenous Employment package, which will create better opportunities for Indigenous Australians to find work.
  • A new Career Transition Assistance Program, which will deliver a short, intensive course for mature age people looking for work to prepare for new career paths and opportunities.