Labour force figures released today by the ABS show that seasonally adjusted employment rose by 29,100 in June 2021, at the upper end of market expectations, to stand a record high of 13,154,200. Employment has now increased by 285,100 in 2021, the largest increase in the first six months of a calendar year on record, and is 159,400 (or 1.2 per cent) above its pre-COVID level in March 2020.
Encouragingly, the proportion of the Australian civilian population (aged 15 years and over) who were employed reached a record high of 63.0 per cent in June 2021.
The rise in employment over the month was due, entirely, to a robust increase in full-time employment, up by 51,600 (or 0.6 per cent) in June, to a record high of 9,016,800. Full-time employment is now 151,700 (or 1.7 per cent) higher than it was in March 2020.
Male employment rose by 29,500 in June, to a record high of 6,899,600, and is now 62,400 (or 0.9 per cent) above the level recorded in March 2020. The increase in male employment was due, entirely, to a rise in full-time employment, which increased by 51,000 (or 0.9 per cent) to a record high of 5,571,200 in June.
While female employment decreased marginally, by 400 in June, it remains 97,100 (or 1.6 per cent) above the level recorded in March 2020. Encouragingly, female full-time employment rose slightly, by 600, to a record high of 3,445,600 in June.
The level of unemployment in Australia fell by 22,000 over the month, to 679,100 in June 2021, and is now 44,400 (or 6.1 per cent) below the level recorded in March 2020.
The unemployment rate also declined over the month, by 0.2 percentage points, to 4.9 per cent, the eighth consecutive monthly decrease and the lowest rate recorded since December 2010.
The participation rate remained steady in June, at 66.2 per cent, and is 0.3 percentage points above the rate recorded in March 2020.
The youth unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points to 10.2 per cent in June, the lowest rate recorded since January 2009.
While Australia’s labour market rebound from the pandemic has beaten even the most optimistic of expectations, the Government remains acutely aware that 679,100 Australians remain out of work, and that the risk of ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 in the months ahead present a degree of uncertainty. Recent lockdowns are expected to have an impact on employment over coming months.
This is why the Government’s 2021-22 Budget measures have been designed to cement Australia’s economic recovery and secure our prosperity through initiatives including: a further $15.2 billion in infrastructure investment; additional tax cuts for businesses and individuals; a further $2.7 billion to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program and; an additional $500 million to expand the JobTrainer Fund.
In addition, the Government has announced increased financial assistance to eligible households and businesses in order to minimise the impact of the current outbreak of COVID-19 cases on the labour market.
The Government has put in place a prudent macroeconomic policy framework to ensure that Australia continues to rebound strongly from the COVID-19 induced recession and creates sustainable jobs well into the future.