Release type: Media Release


Australia’s unemployment rate remains low


Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Today’s Jobs figures show that Australia’s unemployment rate remains low despite heightened instability in the global economy and slowing global growth.

Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, said Australia’s unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.3 per cent in November, showing Australia is not immune from continuing turbulence and slowing growth in the global economy.

“Despite this slight increase, our unemployment rate remains low, especially compared with the stubbornly high rates of unemployment in many advanced economies,” Senator Evans said.

“Here, we have an unemployment rate with a five in front of it – in the Euro area, it’s almost double that at 10.3 per cent.

“As we said in the mid-year update last week, global headwinds are adding to pressures faced by some parts of our patchwork economy, and this will have an impact on our economy and employment.

“We know that global instability is making consumers a bit more cautious and business a bit more hesitant to hire, and this is reflected in the figures today.”

While part-time jobs rose by 33,600 in November reaching a record high, the total number of jobs fell by 6,300, largely driven by a fall in full-time employment by 39,900. 

“But we can’t lose sight of our underlying strength and resilience, and the economy’s exceptional record of job creation during turbulent times,” Senator Evans said.

“Since Labor came into office, around 750,000 jobs have been created despite the worst global conditions since the Great Depression, and this is something all Australians should be proud of.”

Today’s figures come a day after the National Accounts showed the Australian economy continues to grow against deteriorating conditions in the global economy.

“Despite the European turmoil and deteriorating world growth, our own economy grew by a standout 1 per cent last quarter,” Senator Evans said.

“We have a huge pipeline of investment particularly in resources, growth in consumption is solid, incomes are rising, inflation is contained and unemployment remains comparatively very low.

“The reforms that Labor is undertaking will secure our economy, ensuring more Australians can share in the high-skill, high-paid jobs of the future. This is Labor’s core mission.”

With solid growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, strong public finances and an unprecedented pipeline of investment, Australia remains very well placed to deal with ongoing global instability.