Release type: Media Release


Labour Force November 2007: Continued improvement in participation and employment

Labour force figures released today by the ABS show that participation and employment have hit a record high in November, reflecting the underlying strength of the Australian economy.

The labour force participation rate has increased by 0.3 percentage points to a record high of 65.3 per cent in November. This increase was greatest for males, which rose by 0.6 per cent to 72.7 from 72.1.

This month’s jobs figures exceeded market expectations, with seasonally adjusted employment increasing in November by 52 600 to stand at a record level of 10 583 200.

Full-time employment increased once again in November, by 8 200 to stand at its highest level on record of 7 594 200, while part-time employment also rose by 44 400 to 2 989 000.

While the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose marginally over the month to 4.5 per cent, this obviously occurred in conjunction with a significant increase in the participation rate.

Forward indicators of labour market activity are pointing to further strong employment gains in the period ahead highlighting the need for an investment in skills to ensure that job seekers can meet the demand for labour where it is most needed.

This is particularly important for young Australians entering the job market.

The teenage full-time unemployment to population ratio now stands at 4.5 per cent which means around 1 in 22 teenagers was unemployed and looking for full-time work in November.

The Rudd Government is firmly focused on delivering the Education Revolution which provides targeted investments in skills training to address capacity constraints in the economy.

Forward indicators pointing to strong employment gains also point to the need to facilitate greater labour force participation by improving the quality, affordability and accessibility of childcare.

The Rudd Government’s commitments on childcare are aimed at addressing the barriers that currently exist for many Australians wanting to participate in the labour market.