Release type: Media Release


More Australians in work than ever before


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

Today’s labour force figures show that in the face of ongoing global economic uncertainty the Australian economy created an impressive 18,700 new full time jobs in October, taking total employment to over 11.5 million, with more Australians in work than ever before in our history.

In total, Australia added 10,700 new jobs in October, with the unemployment rate remaining low at 5.4 per cent. Australia’s low unemployment rate and high participation rate both rank solidly in the top ten of OECD countries.

Today’s solid result confirms that over 820,000 jobs have now been created since Labor came to office in November 2007 (or around 450 jobs per day).

This is a standout achievement in the context of fragile global growth and high levels of unemployment in advanced economies around the world.

In fact, the ILO estimates that the global ranks of the unemployed have swelled by 30 million people to 200 million since the global financial crisis.

By contrast Australia has an enviable set of economic fundamentals that sees us performing well in the face of these persistent global headwinds.

Australia has stable growth, low unemployment, strong investment and contained inflation - a combination that almost any other country in the world would trade for.

In fact, the Australian economy has grown by 11.2 per cent since late in 2007, in stark contrast to much of the rest of the industrialised world.

The Gillard Government will continue the job of building an even stronger, more sustainable and secure domestic economy.

A key challenge for the future will be to build the nation’s human capital to help boost productivity, so that workers will have access to the job opportunities that will emerge as our labour market strengthens.

The Government is therefore 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.