Unemployment rate dropped early in lockdown as people gave up looking for work, data reveals

 In Home News Section, Uncategorized

Australia’s official unemployment rate dropped early on in the latest round of lockdowns, as the number of people looking for work fell.

The unemployment rate dipped from 4.9 per cent in June to 4.6 per cent in July, even though only 2,200 extra people were employed.

That is the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate since December 2008, when the nation was just feeling the economic effects of the global financial crisis after a massive mining boom.

The main reason that unemployment fell, according to the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, is that the participation rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 66 per cent, as many people gave up looking for work during lockdowns.

The survey was taken in early to mid-July, capturing the initial effects of Sydney’s current lockdown, but not Melbourne’s latest one.

“The labour market changes in New South Wales between June and July had a large influence on the national figures,” the ABS’s Bjorn Jarvis said.

“There were big falls in New South Wales in both employment (-36,000) and unemployment (-27,000), with the labour force reducing by around 64,000 people.

“In addition, hours worked in New South Wales fell by 7.0 per cent. These changes offset increases in employment and hours in Victoria.”

More to come.

By business reporters Michael Janda and Rachel Pupazzoni (Original ABC Article)