Release type: Media Release

Date:

Labour Force March 2008

Labour force data for March 2008 shows that labour market conditions remain tight and unemployment remains near 33 year lows.

Labour force data for March 2008 shows that labour market conditions remain tight and unemployment remains near 33 year lows.

Total employment rose by 14,800 persons in March, driven by an increase in both full-time and part-time employment.

While the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose marginally at the national level, to 4.1 per cent in March, all States and Territories now have an unemployment rate below 5 per cent.

Western Australia and Queensland have the lowest unemployment rates at 3.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.

Over the past year NSW has exhibited the strongest employment growth of all the states at 4.1 per cent (or 136,900 persons), which represents 46.1 per cent of total employment growth.

The labour force participation rate remained at 65.2 per cent in March, but has risen from the 64.9 per cent recorded a year ago.

The full time youth unemployment rate (15 to 19 year olds) has fallen to 15.6 per cent, down from 18.5 per cent a year ago, to be at its lowest level since February 1990.

Employment growth over the last year has been strong, with skills shortages and labour shortages more generally constraining business output.

That’s why the Rudd Government has committed to:

  • Deliver an additional 820 000 vocational education and training places over the next six years, including 450 000 places over the next four years;
  • Address barriers to work, by increasing the number of Child Care places and the Child Care Rebate to 50 per cent, to make it easier for parents to enter the workforce; and
  • Undertake a coordinated approach to addressing labour force participation, which includes a review of Job Network.

The Rudd Government remains acutely aware of the importance of building a modern economy so we can sustain growth, create jobs and fight inflation.