Unemployment skyrockets

Fresh from the ABS comes May Labour Force:


  • Employment decreased 227,700 to 12,154,100 people. Full-time employment decreased 89,100 to 8,540,000 people and part-time employment decreased 138,600 to 3,614,100 people.
  • Unemployment increased 85,700 to 927,600 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased 0.7 pts to 7.1%.
  • Underemployment rate decreased 0.7 pts to 13.1%.
  • Underutilisation rate increased less than 0.1 pts to 20.2%.
  • Participation rate decreased by 0.7 pts to 62.9%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased 12.1 million hours to 1,604.7 million hours.

Materially weaker than expected and the falling participation rate is still seriously distorting the shocking reality. Indeed, without that, we’d now be passing through 11% unemployment…

More to come. 

David Llewellyn-Smith


    • I wonder how long it will take for the reality to hit the people smuggling government?
      No jobs = smuggled students will have to leave.

      Either that, or your local 24 hour massage parlor is going to be cheaper than the type that can live in malls and only open 9-5.

  1. Hence Scumo relenting on increased dole payments no doubt. He’s a bit worried the hibernation thing isn’t going to work perhaps.

  2. MB readerMEMBER

    Unemployment increased to 7.1%. Ummm, I thought we were supposed to have 10% or more by now. Frankly these figures don’t make sense. So people go from working to not participating, but they are not unemployed! Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!

      • JobLiar counts as employed.

        Whether a falling participation rate or a falling unemployment rate, it is largely irrelevant to the broader economy, as there is still a double digit hit to the labour market (economy) when combined.

          • For anyone interested:

            1. People paid through the JobKeeper wage subsidy: employed

            The ABS expects that people who are paid through the JobKeeper scheme will answer the questions in a way that results in them being classified as employed, regardless of the hours they work (e.g. even if they are stood down). People paid through JobKeeper may work less hours, the same hours, or more hours, than usual.

            2. People in receipt of the JobSeeker payment: it depends on their labour market activity

            People who receive the JobSeeker or other similar government payments are not automatically classified as unemployed (just as those classified as unemployed will not necessarily be in receipt of a government payment) and how they are categorised depends on how they answer questions around labour market activity.

            The JobSeeker payment is paid to people who are looking for work or are sick or injured and cannot undertake their usual work or study for a short time, and who meet the eligibility requirements. People can also receive the JobSeeker payment if they have a job, if they meet a low income test. Recent changes to the JobSeeker program as result of COVID-19 also mean that recipients do not have to meet the usual mutual obligation requirements (such as looking for work).

            To be classified as unemployed in Labour Force statistics, a person must:
            have actively looked for full-time or part-time work in the last four weeks; and
            be available for work in the reference week.

            https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/Previousproducts/6202.0Main Features15Apr 2020?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=6202.0&issue=Apr 2020&num=&view=

            Damn link keeps busting up on me. Ah well

    • Jumping jack flash

      Johnny Howard knew which way was up. Last of the greats.

      Although Scomo must be consulting with him lately I think.

  3. happy valleyMEMBER

    Re-open the vibrancy floodgates – that will fix it, just like dropping the rates fixes every housing price glitch?

  4. Jumping jack flash

    7.1 is cataclysmic! We’re outside the envelope. It was only ever designed to go as high as 5.x.

    It will be very interesting to see what happens in September. Blood in the streets and the place will burn is my guess.

    Or, ever the realist, wage subsidies forever on the back of infinite QE, and NIRP to push down rates to grow the debt. Winning!

    • working class hamMEMBER

      It will be a mixture of everything.
      extended JK for the selected industries/mates, pumped up dole, maybe even two tiered to differentiate between lifters and leaners.
      Most importantly blood. Sentiment is already stalling.
      The Govt has already accepted that the pain is inevitable, eventually the housing market will. All the nets will have to be in place before it picks up too much pace.
      That’s the real reason for jobstaller.

  5. I’m looking for work but centrelink says I don’t have to. How do they count me? Am I participating or not, how do they know? Is it one of those sketchy extrapolated population samples or hard data?