There was an increase of 210,800 employed people (seasonally adjusted) from May and June as COVID-19 restrictions were eased, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis.

"The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in June saw an extra 280,000 people in the labour force, with more people in employment, and more actively looking and available for work," he said.

“In June, around 24% of the fall in employment through to May had been regained."

The 280,000 figure is a gross figure and does not account for people who subsequently lost their jobs.

However, 249,000 people rejoined the labour force in a part-time capacity, and there was a decrease by 38,100 in full-time employment. 

Unemployment data is in part measured by people actively looking for work, and in June the participation rate was 64%, up from 62.7% in May.

Hours worked also increased four percentage points in June, and the underemployment rate fell from 13.1% in May to 11.7% in June.

In April, when COVID-19 lockdowns peaked, the unemployment rate was a comparatively low 6.2%, thought to be lowered by JobKeeper and a fall in the participation rate i.e. people withdrawing from the labour force entirely. 

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Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

Young people experience mixed results

The 15-24 year old age bracket had an increase in the participation rate in June, up 3.9 points to 63.5%.

In June, 101,500 young people found work, however the unemployment rate increased by 0.4 points to 16.4%. 

For the wider labour force, if those that are working zero hours for economic reasons are added to the unemployment rate, that rate would sit at 8.8%, according to the ABS.

More to come with Melbourne lockdowns

Although there were signs of recovery in June, Melbourne experiencing a surge in COVID-19 and the city's corresponding lockdowns could set things back next month, according to Westpac Senior Economist Justin Smirk.

"Looking forward, the June update suggests we are past the worst for job losses and have entered a recovery phase," he said.

"However, that was before outbreak took off in Victoria resulting in the lockdown of the Melbourne regional area.

"And the improvement in employment opportunities has seen workers surge back into the labour force lifting participation.

"Even without the Melbourne lockdown, we would have been looking for unemployment to continue to rise from here on the back of rising participation.

"With that lockdown the risks lie to the higher side of our expectations."

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