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6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Jan 2012 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/02/2012   
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MEDIA RELEASE
16 February 2012
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
16/2012


Australia's unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points to 5.1 per cent in January 2012

Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points to 5.1 per cent in January, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The ABS reported the number of people employed increased by 46,300 to 11,463,900 in January. The increase in employment was driven by increased part-time employment, up 34,000 people to 3,400,800, and an increase in full-time employment, up 12,300 people to 8,063,100. The increase in seasonally adjusted part-time was driven by an increase in female part-time employment whereas the increase full time employment was driven by an increase in male full-time employment.

The number of people unemployed decreased by 15,300 people to 614,200 in January, the ABS reported.

The ABS monthly aggregate hours worked series showed a decrease in January, down 23.1 million hours to 1,593.9 million hours.

The ABS reported an increase in the labour force participation rate of 0.1 percentage points in January to 65.3 per cent.

Recent reports have compared the annual growth in seasonally adjusted employment level estimates and have suggested 2011 is the year with the lowest employment growth since 1992. This neglects consideration that the growth in population estimates for 2011 was also the lowest in over 10 years. An alternative method of analysis that removes the effect of population growth is to compare average employment to population ratios for each year. In 2011, the employment to population ratio was 62.2%, which is the third highest rate of employment in the last 30 years, up 0.1 percentage points from 2010 and 6.1 percentage points higher than the low in 1992. Further information can be found in this months article 'Employment Level Estimates Versus Employment to Population Explained.'

The most recent estimate of the seasonally adjusted underemployment rate was 7.3 per cent in November 2011 issue. Combined with November's unemployment rate of 5.3 per cent, the latest estimate of total seasonally adjusted labour force underutilisation was 12.6 per cent. For more information on underemployment and underutilisation, please refer to the article 'Understanding Labour Force' which is published every month in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

More details are in the January 2012 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), as well as the upcoming January 2012 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) due for release next week on February 23. Both publications are available for free download (after release) from the ABS website - www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:
When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.

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