Australia: Shutdowns lead to sharpest plunge in jobs on record in April
May 14, 2020
Seasonally-adjusted employment nosedived by 594,300 in April, following a revised 700 job addition in March (previously reported: +5,900). April’s result was driven by sharp contractions in both part-time and full-time employment. Figures for April reflect the dramatic impact on the labor market of the economy-wide shutdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.2% in April, from March’s 5.2%, against expectations for a jump to 8.3%. The significant discrepancy between expectations and actual data was largely due to a marked fall in the number of people looking for a job, reflected in a decline in the participation rate from 65.9% in March to 63.5%. Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted underemployment rate jumped 4.9 percentage points to a record-high of 13.7% in April.