Release type: Media Release


Unemployment drops to lowest in over four years


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

Strong jobs figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics underscore the Turnbull Government’s plan to create a stronger economy and more jobs for Australians.


The labour force figures released this morning show total employment rising by 42,000 in May.


“The Turnbull Government understands the best form of welfare is a job. Since the Coalition came to government the economy has created more than 686,000 jobs,” Minister Cash said.


The unemployment figure dropped from 5.7 per cent to 5.5 per cent – the lowest rate in over four years. This follows an increase in the labour force participation rate. More Australians are looking for jobs and more Australians are finding jobs.


“While there is more work to do, this is good news for the Australian economy and good news for the thousands of Australians who are finding jobs”, Minister Cash said.


In May, full time employment rose by 52,100 to stand at a record high of 8,287,400.


The annual rate of full time employment stands at 1.8 per cent over the year, well ahead of the decade annual average of 1 per cent.


Total employment has now risen by 153,700 since the start of the year – the best result to the start of a year in 28 years.  Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs is now at a record high of 1,695.3 million hours.


“Over the last 12 months jobs growth has been three times stronger than in the last 12 months of the former Labor Government,” Minister Cash said.


“The Turnbull Government is encouraged by today’s figures, but there is more work to do. Our initiatives such as the Enterprise Tax Plan, record investment in infrastructure, the defence industry plan, the innovation and science agenda and free trade agreements are all designed to grow the economy, so more jobs are created.”