Jobless rate steady at 5.2 percent

Jobless rate remains steady, but there has been a sharp decline in part-time work

January 19, 2012

The national jobless rate remained steady in December, with a rise in full-time employment partially offsetting a sharp decline in part-time work.

The unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ABS reported that the number of people employed nationally decreased by 29,300 to 11.4 million in December last year, in seasonally adjusted terms.

This fall was driven by a drop in part-time employment, down 53,700 people to 3.37 million, while full-time employment grew by up 24,500 to 8 million.

The decrease in seasonally adjusted part-time employment was driven by weaker than usual growth during December, which was particularly noticeable for women aged 15 to 24.

The ABS monthly aggregate hours worked series showed an increase in December, up 5.6 million hours to 1,622 million hours.

Meanwhile, there was decrease in the labour force participation rate of 0.3 percentage points in December to 65.2 percent.

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