Release type: Media Release


Labour force figures — November


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 figures released today by the ABS show that seasonally adjusted employment exceeded market expectations in November, increasing by 39,100 to a record high of 11,973,200, reflecting the underlying resilience of the Australian economy.

Full-time employment surged by 39,300 in November following a strong rise of 45,700 recorded in October to stand at 8,166,200. Over the past two months the economy has created 85,000 full-time jobs, well in excess of market expectations.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly over the month by 0.1 percentage points to 5.7 per cent, as more Australians were encouraged to look for work in November. The labour force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 64.6 per cent in November.

In November, female total employment increased by 24,000 and male total employment increased by 15,000, to reach record levels of 5,556,100 and 6,417,100 respectively.

Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, welcomed today’s positive full-time jobs figures.

"Since the Government came to office in September 2013, we have created more than half a million (506,300) jobs - an increase of 4.4 per cent,” Minister Cash said.

"Encouragingly, forward indicators are pointing to a further expansion in employment growth in the near term.

"While ABS labour force figures can be volatile and jump around from month to month, today’s data continues to highlight that some spare capacity remains in the Australian labour market, which is why we need to continue with the Coalition’s plan to strengthen the economy and stimulate further jobs growth.

"The economic transition is impacting areas in different ways, and the Government remains acutely aware that there are still around 725,000 Australians who remain unemployed.

"However, despite facing economic challenges, it is promising to note that the economy is still creating jobs and recent data indicates that these jobs are, in large part, full-time jobs.

"The Government remains committed to 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."

The key budget initiatives to achieve this end, include:

  • The Government’s 10-year Enterprise Tax Plan, which will support growth, higher wages and jobs by lowering the tax rate for companies over time to an internationally competitive level
  • The 20-year defence industry plan that will drive new high-tech employment, including 3,600 direct jobs as part of the Government’s shipbuilding plan
  • A record $50 billion in infrastructure investment to 2019-20, for roads, rail, airports and dams
  • A $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, which will put Australia on the right track to becoming a leading innovator
  • The $840 million Youth Employment Package to help up to 120,000 vulnerable young people take advantage of job opportunities as the economy diversifies and transitions to broader-based growth
  • A $7.5 billion investment in jobactive, which offers a new mix of incentives and services for job seekers as well as better support for employers.

Minister Cash said that Bill Shorten and the Labor Party have a responsibility to act in the national interest and support measures that would assist in repairing the budget and promote economic growth.

"The Labor Party continues to stand in the way of effective policies that will lead to an increase in investment and create jobs for Australians,” Minister Cash said.

"Bill Shorten’s duplicity in demanding growth while blocking measures that will achieve it is economic recklessness of the highest order.

"Only the Coalition has a plan to deliver jobs, growth and increased investment. It is now incumbent on the opposition to put people first and support initiatives that are in the best interests of Australians rather than in the opposition's own short-term political interests.”