Australia Unemployment


Unemployment rate unexpectedly drops on fewer job seekers

In May, the labour market added 1,100 jobs over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The figure came at a fraction of the 45,000 increase recorded in April (previously reported: 50,100) but contrasted market expectations of a 10,000 drop. The result was mainly driven by a pick-up in part-time positions (+6,400), which offset a drop in full-time jobs (-5,300).

Meanwhile, the number of total job seekers fell by 3,600 persons in May (April: -1,900). As a result, the unemployment rate inched down from a revised 5.6% in April (previously reported: 5.5%) to 5.5% in May, which was a whisker below the 5.6% rate expected by the markets.

FocusEconomics panellists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.4% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. Next year, the panel expects the unemployment rate to inch down to 5.3%.

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Australia Unemployment Chart

Australia Unemployment May 2013

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

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