Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed that Australia’s unemployment has fallen to 5.5 percent.

This has surprised many people, due to the fact that when the federal government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy ended on the 28th March it was anticipated to create a cliff that would plunge thousands of workers onto welfare.

Despite these expectations, the number of Australians in work fell only slightly by almost 30,600 between March and April, to remain just over 13 million.

The jobless rate also dropped by 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 percent, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released on Thursday.

The figures were 0.9 percentage points below the figures from April last year, when the rate was 6.4 percent and Australia was at the peak of lockdown restrictions to combat the community transmission of covid-19.

Tasmania is the Australian state that currently has the highest level of unemployment. Tasmania’s unemployment currently sits at 6.2 percent out of all the states and territories.

A clearer picture into how many Australians are losing their job or changing jobs as a result of the end of JobKeeper, a lifeline for businesses to retain workers, is likely to be more visible in the statistics for May.

The Treasury believes that the figures illustrate the strength of Australia’s economic recovery.

April 2021 is also the seventh consecutive month where the unemployment rate has fallen in Australia.

Furthermore, underemployment has also dropped to its lowest rate in seven years. Youth unemployment this month also fell to its lowest level in 12 years.

There has also an increase 33,800 new full-time jobs being created across Australia during the month of April.

With the federal budget being announced on Tuesday 11th May, the Treasury now aspires to develop a plan which enables a path to get a further 250,000 Australians back into the workforce and push Australia’s unemployment rate to below 5 percent.

The Australian Government also plans to add $5 billion to the bottom line because there would be more income tax receipts and lower welfare payments.

According to the latest ABS analysis, the decrease in both employment and unemployment during the month of April saw the participation drop 0.3 points to 66 percent, which is back to around its pre-pandemic levels.

The participation rate for females decreased 0.5 points to 61.3 percent and the male participation rate also dropped 0.1 points to 70.8 percent.

Underemployment also decreased 0.2 points down to 7.8 percent during April.

These figures project that at the current rate, Australia’s unemployment rate will fall to 4.8 percent by the end of 2021 and by 4.4 percent by the end of 2022.

These forecasts might seem ambitious, but they reflect the expectation of a decelerating pace of labour market improvement.

On a national scale, employment continue to rise for 15 to 24-year old’s. However, 25 to 34-year old’s appear to be struggling, as this age group appears to be the group who are struggling the most to find employment.

In April, employment website Seek recorded its second consecutive record month of job ads.

The total number of positions advertised on Seek increased by 11.9 percent when compared with the number of ads posted in March. The number of jobs advertised in April 2021 was 30 percent higher than the number of jobs advertised in April 2019.

However, the number of applications per ad were at the lowest level since 2012, this means that job hunters had a better chance of success.

Seek has revealed that 11 industries had record numbers of jobs being advertised. This was led by the industries of; trades and services, hospitality and tourism, healthcare and medical, manufacturing and logistics, education and training, and retail.

With so many new jobs being advertised, there are growing fears about whether or not all of the available positions will be filled.

As the job market continues to tighten, this might cause firms to offer higher wages to fill vacant positions.

Post Author: Craig Dangar

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