Release type: Media Release


Employment hits a record high


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation

Labour force figures released today by the ABS show that seasonally adjusted employment surged by 50,100 in April, exceeding market expectations, to stand at a record high of 11,663,200.

Seasonally adjusted full-time employment increased by 34,500 in April 2013, to stand at 8,159,700, also a record high. Part-time employment also rose, by 15,600 to 3,503,500

Reflecting today’s positive employment results, the unemployment rate in Australia decreased to 5.5 per cent in April, while the labour force participation rate rose to 65.3 per cent as more Australians were encouraged to join the labour force and look for work.

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, welcomed today’s much stronger than expected employment result, highlighting that more than 960,000 jobs have been created since the Labor Government came to office in November 2007.

“Around 490 jobs per day have been created since Labor was elected in 2007, an incredible achievement, especially since many advanced economies continue to grapple with weak growth and stubbornly high unemployment.”

“This impressive record of job creation during very difficult global circumstances and the sustained high dollar is certainly an achievement all Australians can be proud of,” Minister Shorten said.

“Of course, we’re also going through a transition in our economy, as the resources boom starts to move into the less labour intensive production and exports phase, and some non-mining sectors are still being heavily impacted by the high dollar.”

“So while Australia starts this transition from a position of impressive resilience, there may be bumps along the way in the labour market, as non-mining investment takes a bit of time to respond to lower interest rates.”

“This Government is squarely focused on increasing employment opportunities across the country – something that has been a priority of the Government since day one.”

“We will continue to bed down our substantial reform and prudent policy agenda, to help strengthen the economy and secure our future prosperity.”

“While conditions remain patchy in parts of the economy, Australia nonetheless has an impressive combination of solid growth, low unemployment, low interest rates, contained inflation and very low debt.”

“Our greatest responsibility is to invest in our people by enhancing skills and education to help drive Australia’s productivity performance and ensure that all Australians can participate, prosper and contribute in our society.”

The Gillard Government is investing $15.6 billion in the vocational education and training sector over the next four years, as well as $3 billion over six years for the Building Australia’s Future Workforce (BAFW) initiative, one of the largest training and workforce participation packages in the nation’s history, to ensure that Australians have the skills they need for the job opportunities that will emerge in the new economy.

Bar graph of International Unemployment Rates by percentage. Graph reads top to bottom:
Euro area 12.1%. Italy 11.5%. France 11%. OECD 8%.UK 7.8%. US 7.5%. Canada 7.2% Australia 5.5% German 5.4%. Japan 4.1%.