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Australia posts record job-market expansion

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Staff Writer | February 15, 2018
Australia's female labour force participation rate reached an historic high of 60.5 percent in January 2018, while the overall participation rate of 65.6 percent in January was the highest since February 2011.
Australia worker
Jobs   The highest result since February 2011
This is according to latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Program Manager for the ABS Labour and Income Branch Bjorn Jarvis said the trend unemployment rate for January remained steady at 5.5 percent, where it has hovered for the past seven months.

The latest Labour Force figures show that monthly trend full-time employment increased for the 15th straight month in January 2018.

Full-time employment grew by a further 9,000 persons in January, while part-time employment increased by 14,000 persons, underpinning a total increase in employment of 23,000 persons.

Full-time employment has now increased by around 292,000 since January 2017 and makes up the majority of the 395,000 net increase in employment over the period. In line with the increasing female participation in the labour force, female full-time employment accounted for 55 percent of the full-time employment growth over the past year.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 3.3 percent, which is above the average year-on-year growth over the past 20 years (1.9 percent).

The trend monthly hours worked decreased slightly, by 1.2 million hours (0.1 percent), with the annual figure continuing to show strong growth (2.7 percent).

The trend unemployment rate has fallen by 0.3 percentage points over the year but has been at approximately the same level for the past seven months, after the December 2017 figure was revised upward to 5.5 percent.

Over the past year, the states and territories with the strongest annual growth in trend employment were the ACT (4.8 percent) Queensland (4.7 percent) and New South Wales (3.6 percent).

All states and territories recorded a decrease in their trend unemployment rates, except the Northern Territory and the ACT (which increased 1.1 and 0.3 percentage points respectively).

The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 16,000 in January 2018. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 5.5 percent and the labour force participation rate decreased to 65.6 percent.