Unemployment rises slightly

After a decade low last quarter unemployment has risen slightly in the quarter to June 2018, to 4.5% (from 4.4%).

It rose to 4.3% (up 0.3%) for men, and fell to 4.7% (down 0.2%) for women.

This is not enough too cause any real concern, but if it turns into a trend it could become a problem. Dropping confidence may well translate into lower employment rates.

Labour market at a glance

  • Unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent.
  • Underutilisation rate rose to 12.0 percent.
  • Employment rate was unchanged at 67.7 percent.
  • Filled jobs rose 0.8 percent.
  • Average ordinary time hourly earnings increased to $31.00.
  • Annual wage inflation increased 1.9 percent.

There is pressure on wage inflation with large claims pending for nurses, teachers and other public servants, as well as the minimum wage being pushed up.

Unemployment and underutilisation

In the June 2018 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment and underutilisation rates both rose slightly.

  • The unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent (up 0.1 percentage points).
  • The underutilisation rate rose to 12.0 percent (up 0.1 percentage points).
  • The unemployment rate for men rose to 4.3 percent (up 0.3 percentage points), while for women it fell to 4.7 percent (down 0.2 percentage points).
  • The underutilisation rate for men rose to 10.0 percent (up 0.6 percentage points), while for women, it fell to 14.3 percent (down 0.3 percentage points).

Regional unemployment rates: