SURPRISE TURNAROUND: jobless rate drops to 5.3 pc

Australia's unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in January, according to new ABS figures

February 11, 2010

Australia's unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in January, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points from December 2009, as an additional 52,700 people joined the worforce.

As reported by the ABS, this is the largest rise in employment since December 2006.

The welcome increase was driven by a rise in part-time employment, up 36,900 persons to 3.314 million together with a rise in full-time employment, up 15,900 persons to 7.652 million.

Queensland also posted a fall in unemployment, down from 5.9 percent in December 2009 to 5.5 percent in January – the same rate as June 2009.

For the third consecutive month, the ABS reported the number of unemployed Australians had decreased, down 22,300 persons to 612,000 in January.

The ABS seasonally adjusted monthly aggregate hours worked series showed a fall in January, down 14.8 million hours to 1,518.1 million hours.

Meanwhile, the ABS participation rate in January remained at 65.3 per cent.

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