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6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Apr 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/05/2004   
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APRIL KEY FIGURES

Mar 2004
Apr 2004
Mar 04 to Apr 04
Apr 03 to Apr 04

Trend
Employed persons ('000)
9,632.2
9,653.7
21.5
2.1
%
Unemployed persons ('000)
580.3
579.2
-1.1
-7.6
%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.7
5.7
0.0
pts
-0.6
pts
Participation rate (%)
63.7
63.7
0.1
pts
0.0
pts
Seasonally Adjusted
Employed persons ('000)
9,638.0
9,694.2
56.2
2.8
%
Unemployed persons ('000)
573.1
575.9
2.8
-7.8
%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.6
5.6
0.0
pts
-0.6
pts
Participation rate (%)
63.7
63.9
0.3
pts
0.3
pts

Employed Persons
Graph: Employed Persons

Unemployment rate
Graph: Unemployment rate

APRIL KEY POINTS

TREND ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)

  • EMPLOYMENT increased to 9,653,700.
  • UNEMPLOYMENT decreased to 579,200.
  • UNEMPLOYMENT RATE remained at 5.7%.
  • PARTICIPATION RATE increased slightly, but the rounded estimate remained at 63.7%.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)

EMPLOYMENT
  • increased by 56,200 to 9,694,200. Full-time employment increased by 43,400 to 6,936,800 and part-time employment increased by 12,800 to 2,757,300.

UNEMPLOYMENT
  • increased by 2,800 to 575,900. The number of persons looking for full-time work increased by 2,900 to 425,500 and the number of persons looking for part-time work decreased marginally to 150,400.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
  • remained at 5.6%. The male unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage point, but the rounded estimate remained at 5.5%. The female rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 5.7%.

PARTICIPATION RATE
  • increased by 0.3 percentage points to 63.9%.

NOTES

SEASONAL ADJUSTMENT PROCESSES

Users are reminded that the proximity of Labour Force Survey interviewing to holidays can have an effect on both people's availability for the survey and on their labour market involvement. Since December 2003 a specific adjustment has been made in the seasonal adjustment process for the timing of Easter in relation to the April survey. See Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics (cat. no. 6292.0), released on 16 December 2003, for more details.

CAI IMPLEMENTATION

In October 2003, the ABS began the progressive implementation of computer assisted interviewing (CAI) into the LFS. Under CAI, interviewers record responses directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a laptop computer.

For the period October 2003 to January 2004 the CAI method was used on a random 10% sub-sample of survey interviews. The remaining 90% of interviews each month were conducted using the traditional 'pen and paper' method.

The sub-sample of survey interviews conducted using the CAI method was increased to 40% in February in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and remained at 40% in March 2004. In the remaining states and the Northern Territory, the proportion of interviews using the CAI method stayed at 10% for February and March 2004. The CAI method was used for 40% of interviews for all states and territories in April 2004, and will remain at this level for May 2004.

Implementation of the CAI interviewing method is not expected to affect published estimates in any meaningful way. Nonetheless, the ABS is monitoring the situation carefully and has conducted a range of analyses on each month's data. These analyses have confirmed that any effect that the change in interview method may have had on survey responses to date has not materially affected the aggregate estimates for any month.

Subject to further analysis continuing to confirm that the change in method is not having a significant impact on survey estimates, the ABS intends to progressively increase the use of CAI. Users will continue to be informed of the progress of CAI implementation, including the results of further analyses, through updates in this publication.

INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Craig Blair on Canberra (02) 6252 6525.

PRINCIPAL LABOUR FORCE SERIES: TREND ESTIMATES

EMPLOYED PERSONS

The trend estimate of employed persons generally rose from a low of 7,637,500 in December 1992 to 9,054,200 in September 2000. The trend estimate then fell slightly to 9,034,000 in December 2000, before rising to 9,467,200 in March 2003. The trend estimate then fell for three months, before rising to stand at 9,653,700 in April 2004.

Graph: Employed Persons (Trend)



UNEMPLOYED PERSONS

The trend estimate of unemployed persons fell rapidly from 920,800 in September 1993 to 728,300 in July 1995. The trend estimate then rose to 771,600 in February 1997, before falling to 584,000 in September 2000. After rising to 685,500 in October 2001, the trend estimate has generally fallen to stand at 579,200 in April 2004.

Graph: Unemployed Persons (Trend)



UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

The trend unemployment rate fell rapidly from 10.7% in August 1993 to 8.1% in July 1995. The trend estimate then rose slowly to 8.4% in February 1997, before falling to 6.1% in September 2000. After rising to 7.0% in September 2001, the trend estimate has generally fallen to stand at 5.7% in April 2004.

Graph: Unemployment Rate (Trend)


STATES: TREND ESTIMATES

EMPLOYED PERSONS

NEW SOUTH WALES

From 2,635,400 in April 1994, the trend estimate of employment in New South Wales rose to 2,811,200 in January 1996 before falling to 2,801,200 in July 1997. Since then, apart from small decreases in 2000 and 2003, the trend has generally risen to stand at 3,200,900 in April 2004.

Graph: Employed Persons in NSW (Trend)
VICTORIA

The trend estimate of employment in Victoria rose from 1,966,300 in April 1994, to 2,069,200 in June 1995. Growth then slowed until mid 1997. Since then the trend has generally risen to stand at 2,400,200 in April 2004.

Graph: Employed Persons in VIC (Trend)
QUEENSLAND

The trend estimate of employment in Queensland has generally been rising since April 1994, when it stood at 1,418,900. Apart from a small decrease in late 2000, the trend has been steadily increasing and stands at 1,859,500 in April 2004.

Graph: Employed Persons in QLD (Trend)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The trend estimate of employment in South Australia, although fluctuating, generally rose from 637,900 in April 1994 to 683,000 in September 2000. After a small decrease in late 2000, the trend estimate has generally risen to stand at 718,400 in April 2004.

Graph: Employed Persons in SA (Trend)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The trend estimate of employment in Western Australia has generally been rising since April 1994, when it stood at 787,200. The strongest period of growth occurred prior to mid 1995. Since then the trend estimate has increased at a slower rate, and stands at 984,000 in April 2004.

Graph: Employed persons in WA (Trend)
TASMANIA

From a high of 202,300 in January 1996, the trend estimate of employment in Tasmania fell to 192,300 in August 1997. The trend then generally rose to 201,500 in December 2000, before falling to 197,900 in March 2002. Since then the trend has risen to stand at 212,700 in April 2004.

Graph: Employed persons in TAS (Trend)

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