BREAKING NEWS: Don’t quit your job just yet: Australia’s unemployment surges in a month despite thousands of businesses reopening after lockdowns end in Sydney and Melbourne
- Australia’s unemployment rate spiked to 5.2 per cent in October after lockdowns
- This marked a 0.6 percentage point increase from 4.6 per cent in September
- The bad news was the steepest monthly jobless increase since May 2020
Australia’s unemployment rate has unexpectedly surged to 5.2 per cent despite the end of lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.
The October jobless rate marked a sharp rise from 4.6 per cent in September and was the steepest monthly increase since May 2020, new Australian Bureau of Statistics data has revealed.
Australia’s unemployment rate is at the highest level since April when 5.5 per cent of the labour force was without work, calling into question the phenomenon of the ‘Great Resignation’ where workers have more power to find another job.
The Australian Capital Territory’s jobless rate surged to a 23-year high of 6.6 per cent while Victoria among the states had the highest unemployment of 5.6 per cent, compared with 5.4 per cent in NSW.
Australia’s unemployment rate has surged to 5.2 per cent despite the end of lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne (pictured is a waitress at the Sydney Opera Bar)
The bad news has also caught the Reserve Bank of Australia by surprise, after revising its forecasts on Friday to have national unemployment falling to 4.75 per cent by the end of 2021.
The number of Australians without work but wanting a job last month grew by 81,800 to 707,300 as the number of hours worked across the economy plunged by one million.
The participation rate in October also increased by 0.1 percentage points to 64.7 per cent, which meant more people were looking for a job in anticipation of lockdowns ending.
The under employment rate where workers want more hours increased to 9.5 per cent from 9.2 per cent.
While the jobless rate is well below the 7.4 per cent pandemic peak hit in June and July last year, the 0.6 percentage point increase in one month mirrored what happened in May 2020 when the national Covid lockdowns ended.
The latest jobless rate of 5.2 per cent is also higher than the 5.1 per cent level of February 2020, the last full month before the World Health Organisation declared a Covid pandemic.
The Australian Capital Territory’s jobless rate surged to a 23-year high of 6.6 per cent while Victoria among the states had the highest unemployment of 5.6 per cent, compared with 5.4 per cent in NSW (pictured is Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews at the Metro Tunnel construction site)
The Australian Capital Territory saw its jobless rate surge to a 23-year high of 6.6 per cent from 4.1 per cent, as Canberra went into lockdown.
New South Wales saw its jobless rate climb to 5.4 per cent from 4.6 per cent even though the lockdown in greater Sydney ended on October 11 with a regional travel ban still in place.
Victoria’s jobless rate soared to 5.6 per cent from 4.8 per cent, even though Melbourne’s lockdown ended as October 22.
Queensland’s unemployment edged up to 5.1 per cent from 4.9 per cent.
Western Australia was the only state to see unemployment fall, with its jobless level dropping to a nine-year low of 3.9 per cent from an already-low 4.1 per cent.
Tasmania’s unemployment edged up to 5.1 per cent from 4.8 per cent as the Northern Territory’s jobless rate fell to 3.9 per cent from 4.2 per cent.
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