For another month, November labour force figures revealed the number of employed Australians outpaced the unemployed, with employment increasing by 64,000 people and unemployment decreasing by 7,000 people. 

Major bank economists anticipated November’s unemployment rate to remain on par with October’s result of 3.4%, given the market continues to remain incredibly tight. 

"The participation rate increased by 0.2% to 66.8% in November, returning to the record high we saw in June 2022,” said Bjorn Jarvis, ABS' head of labour statistics.

“The record high participation rate continues to show that it is a tight labour market, especially when coupled with very low unemployment."

The participation rate for women returned to the historical high in June, rising 0.2% to 62.4%, while the participation rate for men rose 0.2% to 71.3%.

The underemployment rate fell in November by 0.1% to 5.8%, while the underutilisation rate -  which combines the unemployment and underemployment rates - declined 0.1% to 9.3% in seasonally adjusted terms. 

The ABS notes the underutilisation rate was 4.7% lower than figures reported in March 2020, and the lowest rate since February 1982.

Indeed Asia-Pacific Economist Callam Pickering said over the past three-months, Australian employment has grown by 0.9% or 118,000 people. 

“That's very impressive given how low the unemployment rate is,” Mr Pickering said.

“Whatever 2023 has in store, it's clear that the Aussie labour market is still red hot.”


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