• ABS unemployment figures for September reveal WA’s lowest jobless rate since 2013

    Industry Insights by ECi Executive
    posted in Business News, Jobs and Recruitment


ABS unemployment figures for September reveal WA’s lowest jobless rate since 2013

The West Australian jobs market is booming despite the ongoing pandemic, with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.1 per cent — a level not seen for eight years.

Bucking the national trend, the unemployment rate in WA dropped by 0.4 per cent in September to levels not since seen October 2013, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

Meanwhile, with COVID outbreaks crippling parts the Eastern States, the national unemployment rate increased by 0.1 points to 4.6 per cent.

Victoria, where there have been six lockdowns since the pandemic began, has recorded the biggest increase in unemployment in the country with a 0.7 per cent rise.

While 138,000 jobs were lost through September across the country, the number of people employed in WA increased by 3,000.

The participation rate dropped marginally from 69 per cent to 68.8 per cent.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said labour changes in NSW and Victoria — which are home to 60 per cent of the country’s employed population — had a “large influence on national figures”.

“In September, there were large falls in employment in Victoria (123,000 people) and New South Wales (25,000 people, following the 173,000 decline in August). This was partly offset by a 31,000 increase in Queensland, as conditions there recovered from the lockdown in early August,” Mr Jarvis said.

“Beyond people losing their jobs, or working reduced or no hours, we continue to see how challenging it is for people without work to remain active within the labour market during lockdowns.”

Premier Mark McGowan said the unemployment data vindicated his strategy to eliminate COVID-19 through snap lockdowns and border closures.

“Since COVID began we have created 44,000 jobs in Western Australia,” he said.

“These are terrific figures as well, the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, the strongest jobs growth, the strongest participation rate, the strongest economy in Australia — perhaps anywhere in the world — so it shows if you get COVID right, if you manage it properly, you can have great economic outcomes as well.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the unemployment rate was “slightly better than what the market was expecting” in the wake of numerous lockdowns across the country.

“Although the headline unemployment rate doesn’t tell the full story of the impact on the labour market of the lockdowns in our two largest States of New South Wales and Victoria,” he said.

“The participation rate was down and there are still many Australians who are doing it tough and who indeed have been stood down on zero hours.

“90 per cent of the jobs that were lost in the month of September were in Victoria.

“This is a telling reminder of why we must stick to our plan agreed at National Cabinet, to reopen our economy safely.”


NSW – 4.6 per cent in September versus 4.8 per cent in August

VIC – 4.8 per cent versus 4.1 per cent

QLD – 4.9 per cent versus 5.4 per cent

SA – 5.1 per cent versus 4.9 per cent

WA – 4.1 per cent versus 4.5 per cent

TAS – 4.8 per cent versus 5.5 per cent

NT – 4.2 per cent versus 3.4 per cent

ACT – 4.1 per cent versus 3.6 per cent

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)

— with AAP



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