6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Oct 2016 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/2016   
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MEDIA RELEASE
17 November 2016
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
125/2016

Continuing shift to part-time employment

Monthly trend employment in Australia decreased in October 2016, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

In October 2016, trend employment decreased by 1,000 persons to 11,946,600 persons, the first decrease in the trend series since November 2013. This slight fall in trend employment reflected an increase in part-time employment of 8,400 persons being more than offset by a decrease in full-time employment of 9,500 persons.

"Since December 2015 we have seen a continued decline in trend full-time employment and an increase in part-time employment, with a corresponding increase in the share of hours worked by part-time workers. This shift to part-time employment has been more pronounced for males compared to females," said the Program Manager of ABS' Labour and Income Branch, Jacqui Jones.

"Over the past year, part-time employment has increased from around 31 per cent of employment to 32 per cent. That's a relatively large shift, if you consider that it was around 29 per cent 10 years ago.

"Since December 2015, there are now around 132,700 more persons working part-time, compared with a 69,900 decrease in those working full-time," said Ms Jones.

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 3.2 million hours (0.2 per cent), with increases in total hours worked by both full-time and part-time workers.

The trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.6 per cent. The participation rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 64.5 per cent. Participation has decreased by 0.6 percentage points over the past year.

Trend series smooth the more volatile seasonally adjusted estimates and provide the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 9,800 in October 2016. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2016 remained at 5.6 per cent, and the seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate remained at 64.4 per cent.

More details are in the October 2016 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). In addition, further information, including regional labour market information, can be found in the upcoming October 2016 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), due for release on 24 November 2016.

These publications are available for free download (after release) from the ABS website: http://www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:

  • The ABS produces trend estimates to provide a more reliable indicator of the underlying behaviour of the Labour Force series. Trend estimates were introduced into the Labour Force series in the mid 1980s and are available back to February 1978. Trend estimates are considered the best indicators of the underlying behaviour in the labour market. See paragraphs 28 to 37 of the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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