Release type: Media Release


Labour force figures - October


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 ABS Labour statistics for October show while the Australian economy is demonstrating resilience and continuing to create jobs it is now more important than ever for the Turnbull Government’s comprehensive agenda for jobs and growth to be supported by the Parliament.

Today’s figures show the unemployment rate has remained steady at 5.6 per cent in October, 0.3 percentage points lower than October 2015 and the equal lowest recorded since February 2013.

Seasonally adjusted employment rose in October by 9,800, driven by a significant increase in full time employment of 41,500.

Total unemployment fell by 2,000 over the month and has declined by 38,900 (or 5.2 per cent) over the year, falling to the lowest level recorded since November 2013. The female unemployment rate is now the lowest since July 2013.

Encouragingly, the seasonally adjusted youth unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 12.5 per cent, though the Government recognises there is still much more work to be done to see this rate fall further.

Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said while the October figures contained positive news, it was vital that the Turnbull Government’s economic plan was implemented to bolster economic growth.

“Now more than ever it is important for the Parliament to pass the Government’s legislative agenda to encourage economic growth and job creation,” Minister Cash said.

“Today’s employment figures clearly show the Australian economy is continuing its economic transition from a resources construction boom to a more diversified, labour intensive services sector.”

“However now more than ever we need to ensure we support and sustain this transition by ensuring our industries are the best they can be, employers are supported to create stable and well paid jobs and Australians are given every opportunity to engage in the workforce.”

Minister Cash said next week the Senate will commence debate on the legislation to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission, a key pillar in the Turnbull Government’s economic agenda to promote growth, encourage investment and create jobs.

“By creating a more competitive, productive and efficient construction industry we will drive investment, promote job creation, lift real wages and deliver greater prosperity for all Australians,” Minister Cash said.

“Bill Shorten can still demonstrate leadership and prove to Australians that he is not beholden to militant unions by backing the restoration of the ABCC.”

“I challenge Bill Shorten to put his words into action – if you care about job creation and you claim to have a zero tolerance for bullying and thuggery in the workplace, then stare down your union masters and help the Government bring back the ABCC.”

The Turnbull Government’s policy framework will facilitate stronger jobs growth, so all Australians can take advantage of the emerging job opportunities of tomorrow. Key initiatives to achieve this 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 $840 million Youth Employment Package to help up to 120,000 young people take advantage of job opportunities as the economy diversifies and transitions to broader-based growth;
  • A $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, which will put Australia on the right track to becoming a leading innovator;
  • A record $50 billion in infrastructure investment to 2019-20, for roads, rail, airports and dams;
  • 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; and
  • 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.