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Labour force: July 2003

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Media Release


Labour Force - July 2003

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 6.1 per cent to 6.2 per cent in July 2003. The trend unemployment rate increased by the same magnitude over the month and also stands at 6.2 per cent.

Total employment fell by 55,200 to 9,452,300 due almost entirely to a decrease in part-time employment of 54,500. Full-time employment fell marginally (by 700). Importantly, full-time employment remains 100,600 higher than it was 12 months ago. Trend employment decreased by 17,000 in July 2003.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rose by 6,900. The number of people looking for full-time work fell by 7,100 while part-time unemployment increased by 14,000. In trend terms, unemployment rose marginally to 622,100.

The labour force participation rate in July 2003 was 63.4 percentage points, down by 0.4 percentage points over the month. However, it remains above where it was a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted teenage full-time unemployment rate fell by 2.4 percentage points to 19.4 per cent, the lowest level since August 1990. The teenage full-time unemployment to population ratio fell to 4.0 per cent, the lowest level on record.

Despite declines in employment over recent months, a number of forward indicators of labour market activity remain positive. The ANZ newspaper job advertisement series has increased by 12.5 per cent over the last three months while the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations’ Leading Indicator of Employment rose for the fifth consecutive month in August 2003. On this evidence, the recent slowdown in employment growth may be relatively short-lived.

July Employment Update

For further information contact:

Andrew Simpson 0408 490 207 7/08/2003

All figures are in seasonally adjusted terms ALP’s last two terms in


Coalition Government


March 1996 to July 2003

Total Jobs Growth 458,800 1,120,100

Full time 56,500 489,400

Part time 402,300 630,700

Male 113,800 540,000

Female 345,000 580,100

Jobs per month 6,400 12,700

Average Annual Jobs Growth 76,500 152,700

Annual % Jobs Growth 0.9% 1.7%

Unemployed 933,900 626,900

(Peak Dec’92) (latest)

Unemployment Rate (%) 10.9 6.2

(Peak Dec’92) (latest)

Participation Rate Period Averages 63.2 63.5

Latest 63.5 63.4

(March '96)

Teenage Full Time Unemployment Unemployed (‘000) 133,300 55,200

(Peak Jul’92) (latest)

Unemployment Rate (%) 34.5 19.4

(Peak Jul’92) (latest)

Unemployment to Population 10.1 4.0

Ratio (Peak Jul’92) (latest)

1 in 25 teenagers are unemployed and looking for full-time work (compared with around 1 in 10 under Labor)

Since the Government was elected, unemployment has fallen by 113,200 (or 15.3 per cent).

The unemployment rate has fallen by 2.0 percentage points since the Government was elected.

The number of teenagers unemployed and looking for full-time work has fallen by 33,000 (or 37.4 per cent) since the Coalition came to office.

The average labour force participation rate has been higher under the Coalition than under Labor.


Coalition Government Jobs Performance

July 2003

More than 1.1 million jobs have been created since the Coalition came to office.

The average number of jobs created per month is more than double that recorded during Labor's last two terms in government.

(March 1990-March 1996)

Full-time employment growth has been much stronger under the Coalition than under Labor.

Male and female employment growth has been stronger under the Coalition than under Labor.