Release type: Media Release


Labour force figures - January 2017


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 Australian Bureau of Statistics for the month of January show the Australian economy is continuing to transition and, encouragingly, employers are continuing to hire in record numbers.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 5.8 per cent to 5.7 per cent, with an increase in employment of 13,500 and the number of Australians employed reaching a record high of 11,998,200.

Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the January statistics demonstrated yet again the Australian economy’s resilience, despite undergoing a significant transition.

"Since the Coalition Government came to office in September 2013, the economy has created 534,000 jobs, representing an increase of 4.7 per cent,” Minister Cash said.

"I am particularly pleased that we have seen a significant increase in female employment, rising by 18,600 to reach a record high of 5,583,700.

"The youth unemployment rate has also dropped by 0.8 percentage points to stand at 12.3 per cent, the lowest in almost a year.

"While full-time employment decreased in January, it is important to note that this was on the back of an increase of 93,000 for the three months prior.

"The Turnbull Government has a policy agenda that is firmly focused on encouraging investment, promoting growth and supporting job creation.

"While the Turnbull Government is pursuing policies to grow our economy and create more jobs, the contrast with the Labor Party is stark. They remain opposed to measures that will assist businesses to grow and are staunchly committed to policies that will crush investment and stifle jobs growth.

"Bill Shorten has a very clear choice to make: he can continue to play politics with people’s lives or work in the interests of Australians.

"He can continue to oppose an agenda with an unwavering focus on growth, or he can foolishly stick with policies such as a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target that will drive up energy prices and lead to massive job losses across the country.”