Release type: Media Release


Labour force figures - March


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 0.1 percentage points to 5.7 per cent in March 2016, reflecting the underlying strength and resilience of the Australian economy.

Seasonally adjusted employment exceeded median market expectations in March, increasing by 26,100 to a record high of 11,909,600, and has now risen by 235,300 (or 2.0 per cent) over the year.

The number of unemployed Australians declined by 7,300 in March, to 723,100, and is now 42,900 (or 5.6 per cent) lower than a year ago.

The youth unemployment rate also fell, from 12.2 per cent in February 2016, to 12.0 per cent in March 2016, and remains well below the 13.7 per cent recorded in March 2015.

The labour force participation rate was steady in March, at 64.9 per cent, marginally above the 64.8 per cent in March 2015.

The Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said that the re-balancing of growth, away from the mining industry 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 the headwinds from slower growth in China and financial market turbulence.

"Since the Government came to office in September 2013, employment has risen by 441,900 (or 3.9 per cent)," 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 resilient Australian labour market and highlight the need to continue with the Coalition’s plan to strengthen the economy and stimulate further jobs growth."

"Compared with this time last year, all of the major labour force indicators are trending in the right direction. Whether you consider the unemployment rate, youth unemployment, the participation rate, the number of Australians employed, the number of underemployed or aggregate hours worked, every indicator is positive compared with 12 months ago."

"Over the past year the level of jobs growth in the Australian economy remains approximately three times that of the former Gillard-Rudd Labor Government in their last 12 months in office."

"Nonetheless, the Government remains acutely aware that significant economic challenges lie ahead and that is why we are committed to implementing our agenda for economic growth."

"The Government is getting on with the job of creating the right policy framework that will facilitate stronger jobs growth, so that all Australians can take advantage of the emerging job opportunities of tomorrow."