Fri, 05 Mar 2021

Australian unemployment falls to 6.6 pct

21 Jan 2021, 15:44 GMT+10

CANBERRA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Australia's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has continued with the nation's unemployment rate falling to 6.6 percent.

According to data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday, 50,000 Australians gained employment between November and December 2020, resulting in a 0.2 percent fall in unemployment from 6.8 percent in November.

The unemployment rate has fallen by almost a full percentage point from a peak of 7.5 percent in July 2020 but remains 1.5 percent higher than in December 2019.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Thursday that it was another indication that Australia's economic recovery "is well underway."

"Around 90 percent of the 1.3 million Australians who lost their job or whose working hours were reduced to zero at the start of the crisis are now back at work," he said.

Of the new jobs, 35,700 were full-time positions and 14,300 were part-time.

Underemployment, which refers to workers who are employed but are not working as many hours as they want, fell from 9.4 percent in November to 8.5 percent in December compared to a peak of 13.8 percent in April.

The youth employment rate fell 1.7 percentage points to 13.9 percent in December.

The participation rate, which measures the number of Australians aged 15 and over either working or actively looking for work, increased slightly to 66.2 percent.

Queensland, which is heavily reliant on the tourism industry, recorded a 1.4 percent increase in employment, the most of any state or territory, as domestic border restrictions continued to ease.

"Although employment has recovered 90 percent of the fall from March to May, the recovery in part-time employment has outpaced full-time employment," said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labor statistics at the ABS.

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