Unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in August, employment rose by 65,000

Australia’s unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in August, with employment increasing by 64,900 and unemployment falling by 2,600.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the participation rate hit a new record high last month, rising from 66.9 per cent to 67 per cent.

But part-time workers accounted for 96 percent of the increase in employment, while hours worked fell slightly.

That helped push the underemployment rate up from 6.4 percent to 6.6 percent last month, as fewer people worked the hours they wanted.

Part-time employment increased by 62.1 thousand people. Full employment increased by 2,800 people.

“The big rise in employment in August followed a small fall in July during the school holidays,” Björn Jarvis, the ABS’s head of labor statistics, said on Thursday.

“Looking over the past two months, average employment growth has been around 32,000 per month, in line with last year’s average increase.”

Mr Jarvis said the data “continues to reflect the tight labor market situation”.

Record high level of participation

The record high level of participation is significant.

The “participation rate” measures how many people in the entire population of people aged 15 and over are actively participating in the labor force.

That means 67 percent of all 15-year-olds were either working or actively looking for work in August.

It is now 1.2 percentage points higher than its immediate pre-pandemic level.

Belinda Allen, senior economist at the Commonwealth Bank, says the ABS has recently benchmarked its quarterly Labor Force Survey and this has led to some revisions to population figures in recent quarters.

This has helped boost participation rates slightly in recent months due to upward revisions to the data, and it contributed to last month’s new record high of 67 percent.

But aside from that technicality, she said the participation rate is rising because of two main factors.

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