Unemployment stable as participation rate dips from its peak

Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained stable in December 2015 at 5.8%, its lowest level in two years. While the rate remained unchanged, the total number of unemployed persons fell 1.5% to 727,500 individuals in December. As a result, the participation rate, measuring the number of people in or actively seeking employment, declined from its peak to 65.1% of the population.

The chart below shows that the unemployment rate and the number of people unemployed declined over the last six months, from its peak of 6.4% in January 2015 to its current level of 5.8%.

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To go straight to the dashboard and take a closer look at the data, click here.

The participation rate fell from its high of 65.3% in November 2015 to 65.1% in December. However, as the chart below details, this remains towards the upper end of what is always a tight banding. The series below shows the participation rate reaching 65.3% on four occasions and never being able to hold its position. Equally relevant is that on three occasions, the participation rate has fallen only as low as 64.5%.

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To go straight to the dashboard and take a closer look at the data, click here.

Of greatest relevance is that the participation rate has climbed over the last six to nine months and that in total, 11,902,300 people were employed in December, just 1,000 less people than the month before.