Release type: Media Release


Labour force figures - February


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

Labour force figures released today by the ABS show that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 per cent in February 2016, reflecting the underlying strength and resilience of the Australian economy.

Seasonally adjusted employment continued to expand over the month, increasing by 300 in February to 11,884,000, and has now risen by 239,400 (or 2.1 per cent) over the year. This is above the long-term average of 1.8 per cent.

Full-time employment rose strongly, by 15,900 to stand at 8,192,600 in February, while part-time employment fell by 15,600 to 3,691,500.

Encouragingly, female full-time employment surged by 14,800 in February, to be 98,700 (or 3.5 per cent) higher over the year.

The number of unemployed Australians declined in February, by 27,300, to be 45,900 (or 5.9 per cent) lower than a year ago.

The youth unemployment rate also fell, from 12.6 per cent in January 2016 to 12.2 per cent in February 2016, and remains well below the 13.9 per cent recorded in February 2015.

The labour force participation rate fell by 0.2 percentage points, to 64.9 per cent in February, but remains 0.1 percentage points higher than it was in February 2015.

The Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said that the re-balancing of growth away from the resources sector and towards the labour intensive services sector was set to continue, highlighting the success of the Government’s economic credentials and its commitment to creating more jobs for all Australians.

“Despite international headwinds including slower growth in China and lower commodity prices, we are seeing the resilience of the economy in today’s jobs data,” Minister Cash said.

“While ABS labour force figures can be volatile and jump around from month to month, today’s data continue to reflect a steadily improving labour market and highlight the need to continue with the Coalition’s plan to strengthen the economy and stimulate further jobs growth.”

“Since the Government came to office in September 2013, employment has risen by an impressive 416,300.”

“Nonetheless, the Government remains acutely aware that there are 732,600 Australians who remain unemployed, without the security and dignity of work, and that significant economic challenges lie ahead.”

“This is why the Government remains committed to getting the underlying economic fundamentals right that will be supportive of stronger jobs growth, so that all Australians can take advantage of the emerging job opportunities of tomorrow.