The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released its labour force report for December, which registered a 0.2% fall in the official unemployment rate to 6.6% of a 0.4% increase in jobs:
Full-time jobs rose by 35,700 and part-time employment rose by 14,300:
The participation rate rose another 0.06% to 66.16%:
Total employment has rebounded 6.5% from its May low, and remains only 0.7% below its February peak:
Full-time employment has rebounded 3.0% from its June low, but remains 1.4% below the February peak.
By contrast, part-time employment has rebounded 15.5% from its May low and is now 0.8% above its February peak:
Annual employment losses are concentrated in the two biggest states, whereas the other states have experienced jobs growth:
WA has the lowest unemployment rate and QLD the highest:
Most importantly, aggregate hours worked rose another 0.10% in December to be only 1.4% below the March peak:
The next chart shows the broad-based changes across the Australian labour market over the past year:
Finally, the underemployment rate fell 0.8% to 8.5%, whereas underutilisation fell 1.1% to 15.1%:
The labour market recovery remains well on track.