E C O N O M IC A N D R EV E N U E PO L IC Y D IV IS IO N E C O N O M IC N O T E LABOUR FORCE STATISTICS – OCTOBER 2004 Key Results Seasonally Adjusted Trend October 2004 Change October 2004 Change Employment (‘000, mthly) 1,005.3 2.0% 990.2 0.2% Employment (3 mthly) 0.5% 0.2% Unemployment Rate (mthly) 4.7% -0.1% points 4.8% - Comment The latest labour force data, released today, shows a strong improvement in the State’s labour market. The unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.7% in October 2004, with strong employment growth (up 2.0%) sufficient to absorb an equally strong increase in the participation rate (up 1.1 percentage point to 66.1%). October’s unemployment rate of 4.7% is the lowest in the State since February 1978, when monthly ABS records began. Nationally, employment grew by 0.4%, offsetting a small increase in the participation rate (up 0.1 percentage points to 63.7%) to leave the unemployment rate slightly lower (down 0.2 percentage points to 5.3%). Volatility in monthly data means that quarterly data usually provides a better indication of conditions in the labour market. Using this measure, employment in Western Australia increased by 0.5% in the three months to October 2004, with increases in full-time employment (up 0.1%) and part-time employment (up 1.5%). Employment growth over this period led to a decline in the unemployment rate to an average of 4.8%. The participation rate over this period increased 0.3 percentage points to an average of 65.3%. Over the three months to October Western Australia continued to have the lowest average unemployment rate of all the States. Nationally, employment grew by 0.6% in the three months to October 2004. Full-time employment growth of 0.6% was reinforced by similarly strong growth in part-time employment (up 0.7%). The national unemployment rate over this period declined 0.3 percentage points to average 5.5%. The outlook for employment in Western Australia remains positive. The ANZ Bank Job Advertisement series showed that Western Australian newspaper job advertisements increased by 1.1% in October 2004 after a 1.7% increase in the previous month. In average annual terms, growth in newspaper job advertisements was extremely robust at 26.9% over the year to October 2004. Nationally, advertisements increased by 5.0% in October 2004, contributing to growth of 4.3% in annual average terms. DETAIL Employment Employment in Western Australia increased by 2.0% in October 2004 after an increase of 0.7% in September. Full-time employment growth remained robust in October at 1.2% and part-time employment grew strongly, increasing by 3.9% after growth of 0.8% in September 2004. In the three months to October 2004 employment increased by 0.5%: • full-time employment increased by 0.1% (776 people) to 695,600 people; and • part-time employment increased by 1.5% (4,351 people) to 294,400 people. Nationally, employment also increased by 0.4% in October 2004 with New South Wales the only State to suffer a decline in employment over the month (down 0.7%). Over the three months to October national employment grew by 0.6%. TREASURY & FINANCE 197 ST GEORGE’S TERRACE, PERTH WA 6000 TELEPHONE (08) 9222 9529 FAX (08) 9222 9914 Employment EMPLOYMENT GROWTH Western Australia Three Percent Percent October Months to Annual 3 6 Quarterly Seasonally Adjusted Growth (LHS) Annual Average Growth (RHS) Number October change* ‘000s Change % 2 4 % 1 NSW 3,178.1 -0.3 1.2 2 Vic 2,430.2 0.9 1.7 0 Qld 1,941.0 2.1 3.9 WA 1,005.3 0.5 2.2 0 -1 SA 724.8 0.5 0.6 Tas 214.9 0.6 3.6 -2 -2 Aust. 9,764.4 0.6 1.9 Oct-94 Oct-96 Oct-98 Oct-00 Oct-02 Oct-04 * 12 months to date on the same period last year. Unemployment Western Australia’s unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 4.7% in October 2004, with higher employment absorbing an increase in the participation rate (up 1.1 percentage points to 66.1%). The Western Australian participation rate has returned to being the highest participation rate of all States. In trend terms, the unemployment rate in Western Australia remained steady at 4.8% in October 2004. Over the three months to October 2004 the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 4.8%. Nationally, the unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 5.5% in October 2004 with New South Wales the only State to experience an increase in its unemployment rate (up 0.1 percentage points to 5.2%). Queensland’s unemployment rate is currently 4.5%, the lowest of the States. The national participation rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 63.7% in October 2004. Unemployment Rate, % UNEMPLOYMENT RATE Seasonally Adjusted Oct. Sept. Oct. Percent 12 2004 2004 2003 Western Australia Australia 11 NSW 5.2 5.1 5.7 10 Vic. 6.0 6.1 5.6 9 Qld. 4.5 5.3 6.3 8 WA 4.7 4.8 6.1 7 SA 5.8 6.0 6.4 6 Tas. 6.4 6.6 7.2 5 4 Aust. 5.3 5.5 5.9 Oct-90 Oct-92 Oct-94 Oct-96 Oct-98 Oct-00 Oct-02 Oct-04 Youth Unemployment Western Australia’s youth unemployment rate decreased to 15.0% in October 2004, remaining below the national rate of 18.4%. The monthly youth unemployment data, however, are not seasonally adjusted and can be extremely volatile, so care should be taken when interpreting the data. In less volatile annual terms, Western Australia’s youth unemployment rate decreased to average 19.0% over the year to October 2004, while the national average decreased to 21.2%. 11 November 2004 For further information on these or related statistics please contact Andrew Hawkes on 9222 9815, or e-mail email@example.com. Note: The labour force statistics are derived from a sample survey and monthly variations should be interpreted with caution. All data are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise stated.