Australia Unemployment


Unemployment rate rises amid largest drop in employment in ten years

In March, the labour market shed 36,100 jobs over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The figure starkly contrasts the 74,000 increase recorded in February (previously reported: 71,500) and was larger than market expectations of a 5,000 decrease. The result marked, in fact, the largest monthly drop in 10 years and was driven by a strong fall both in part-time jobs (-28,700) and in full-time positions (-7,400).

Meanwhile, the number of total job seekers rose by 25,900 persons in March (February: -2,300). As a result, the unemployment rate picked up from 5.4% in February to 5.6% in March. The reading was above market expectations that the rate would remain unchanged and marked the highest result in six months. FocusEconomics panellists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.5% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. Next year, the panel expects the unemployment rate to remain at 5.5%.

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Australia Unemployment Chart

Australia Unemployment March 2013

Note: Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in % and new jobs in thousands.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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