Release type: Media Release


Labour force figures - August


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

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour force figures for August show the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level in three years, reinforcing the Turnbull Government’s focus on jobs and growth.

The Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said today’s figures show the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6 per cent, the lowest level since September 2013.

"The Turnbull Government’s focus on strengthening the economy is ensuring we implement policies that deliver economic growth and jobs for all Australians," Minister Cash said.

Today’s figures show seasonally adjusted employment at 11,963,700. Encouragingly, there was an increase in full-time employment of 11,500 throughout the month of August.

The number of unemployed Australians declined by 10,500 in August to stand at 713,300, which is now at the lowest level in almost three years.

Minister Cash said in September last year the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 per cent and it was pleasing to see the rate continue on a downward trajectory.

"There are now 51,700 (or 6.8 per cent) less unemployed Australians compared with this time last year," Minister Cash said.

"It is also encouraging that the youth unemployment rate fell in August by 0.3 percentage points to stand at 12.8 per cent."

"Despite this progress we have much work to do. That is why we are focused on growing our economy and is why the Budget included a significant investment in the Youth Jobs PaTH programme, to get our young Australians ready, give them a go and get them a job."

"While the monthly figures are inherently volatile we are seeing the economy demonstrating significant resilience while Australia’s economic transition continues."

"The successful transition in our economy from the largest resources investment boom in our history to broader-based growth continues with employment holding up well and economic growth remaining strong against our international competitors."

The ongoing strength of our transition was revealed in the June Quarter National Accounts which confirmed Australia’s 25 years of uninterrupted economic growth with real GDP growing by a strong 3.3 per cent through the year, growing faster than every G7 economy.

"Australia’s Gross Domestic Product growth remains strong against our international competitors and we are seeing this translate into more jobs for Australians."

The most recent ANZ jobs data shows the number of jobs advertised in Australia increased by 1.8 per cent in August and have now risen 8 per cent in the past 12 months.

"This is an encouraging sign that improvements in labour market conditions are consistent with continuing strength in the economy and is in step with increasing consumer and business confidence," Minister Cash said.

"While the Government is encouraged with today’s figures we are always mindful of those Australians who are either unemployed or looking for more work which is why we are unwavering in our steadfast commitment to delivering policies that stimulate economic growth."