close  video close icon

Labour Market Sees Part-Time Revival

The monthly employment statistics for Australia, released yesterday by the ABS, showed signs of promise for the workforce with a welcome growth in the numbers.

Job Growth

April surpassed expert predictions and saw 37,400 extra jobs filled throughout Australia, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.7%. This marks the seventh straight month in which the country has added jobs. Should this trend continue, the country could potentially come close to the 5% unemployment rate by the end of the year – a figure that many economists term “full employment”.

South Australia was the state with the highest unemployment of the month, with a figure of 7.3%, and New South Wales the lowest with 4.7% – a four-and-a-half year low. Victoria sat at 6.1%, Queensland at 6.3%, and both Western Australia and Tasmania at 5.9%. All states except South Australia experienced a desired drop in unemployment.

The overall participation rate – a figure that reflects to the number of people either employed or actively seeking employment – remained stable at 64.8%.

HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham told the Herald Sun that the report indicates that the jobs market is “showing signs of life” after a disappointing year and a half.

employment data April 2017

Source: ABS

Rise of Part-Time

However, the number of monthly hours dropped by 4.3 million hours nationally, highlighting the rise of the part-time position. Full-time positions decreased by 11,600 whereas part-time employment saw a growth of 49,000. The past year has seen only 80,700 full time roles created, versus 111,3000 part-time positions. This means that approximately two thirds of the job increase since last April have been part-time work.

“April’s entire job gains were part-time. Full-time employment losses meant that employers effectively downgraded some positions, which was reflected in a 0.3 per cent decline in hours worked,” Citi economists told SBS.

This raises concerns that many Australians are not getting the hours they were hoping for.

Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor criticised the government for backing cuts to penalty rates and swelling taxes during a period of low wages growth.

“It is good for people to be employed but to have a job that might be two hours a week is not necessarily sufficient,” he said to reporters in Brisbane.

“There’s no point in saying that people are in the labour market if you have in excess of one million people saying we can’t find enough work.”

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief James Pearson told AAP the figures indicated that employers are keen to hire.

“Rising part-time employment is a natural feature of an economy undergoing structural change and as the Reserve Bank noted this month, part-time work is chosen by many people juggling responsibilities,” he said.

“It makes the story a bit less positive, but it’s still a strong report,” Bank of Melbourne senior economist Janu Chan told Business Daily.


Related Post

  •  Managing the Risks Associated with Outsourcing
    Managing the Risks Associated with Outsourcing
    Outsourcing work, including HR tasks such as manage payroll services, can be of real benefit to
    Read More
  •  Managing Absenteeism for a More Prosperous Workplace
    Managing Absenteeism for a More Prosperous Workplace
    Whether it be due to ill health, or personal loss, at some point in the career,
    Read More
  •  Why less is more when it comes to workforce management & payroll technology
    Why less is more when it comes to workforce management & payroll technology
    There are a baffling number of choices when it comes to software for workforce management; and
    Read More

Subscribe to the blog updates

Learn more about Roubler’s
All-in-one HRIS and payroll software

Find out more