Release type: Media Release


Labour Force January 2008

Labour force figures released today by the ABS show Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 4.1 per cent in January 2008.

Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 26 800 over the month, to stand at10 631 000.

Consistent with previous months, the increase in employment has been driven, in large part, by the resource rich States.

The labour force participation rate was steady in January at 65.2 per cent, but has risen from 64.8 per cent recorded a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted teenage full-time unemployment rate fell substantially in January, by 1.7 percentage points to 16.3 per cent.

The Rudd Government welcomes the fact that more Australians are in work.

However, the new government is also cognisant of the fact that the labour market remains tight, and subsequently understands the need to invest in skills and increase labour force participation.

The Rudd Government has developed a five point plan designed to fight inflation by boosting productive capacity, skills and labour supply. Key measures include:

  • Setting a new fiscal target to reach a budget surplus of 1.5 percent;
  • Increasing incentives for private savings;
  • Tackling skill shortages in the economy;
  • Taking an active role with the states to address infrastructure bottlenecks; and
  • Looking at ways to improve workforce participation.

The Rudd Labor Government is committed to addressing barriers to work, by increasing the Child Care Rebate to 50 per cent to make it easier for parents to enter the workforce.

The Rudd Government is delivering an additional 450 000 skilled training places, including 20,000 by April to ease skill shortages.