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Qld unemployment drops as pandemic impacts almost wiped away

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Queensland’s unemployment has dropped below 6 per cent for the first time in a year as the nation recorded another impressive performance.

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Queensland’s unemployment was 5.9 per cent in  March, before the JobKeeper cutoff, while the national rate fell to 5.6 per cent.

The proportion of women employed Australia-wide has also hit a record 58.5 per cent.

In the past year the state’s jobless rate has peaked at 8.8 per cent in July and steadily fallen to the point where it is now ahead of South Australia and Victoria and tying with Tasmania, but is still slightly worse than March last year’s 5.6 per cent.

Queensland employment increased by 62,800 in the year and according to Conus Consultancy’s Pete Faulkner, hours worked per capita was at its highest level in three years.

The unemployment rate among men was at 6.5 per cent and women 6.7 per cent.

Faulkner said the Queensland result was even more impressive because of the better participation rate which meant that not only were jobs being created but more people were entering the workforce and looking for work.

“Obviously, there will be a great deal of attention on the April data to see what impact the removal of JobSeeker support at the end of March has had,” Faulkner said.

“However, job vacancies data and the surprising strength seen in the labour force data in recent months would suggest the effect may be far less than originally anticipated.”

A big influence on the national figure was the performance of WA where unemployment fell to 4.8 per cent.

ANZ said the labour market cycle has been contained and compressed and the impact from the end of JobKeeper would be small.

“There were some milestones in today’s data. Employment rose 70,700 to a record high and has fully recovered from the pandemic,” the bank’s economics team said.

“Underemployment fell below 8 per cent for the first time since June 2014. Given the tight relationship between underemployment and wage growth, we will feel more confident about the wage outlook if this trend continues.

“Participation also hit a record high, driven by a 0.4ppt rise in female participation.

“The data show full-time employment fell by 20,800 during the month, but this is not overly concerning given the 360k gain over the previous five months.”

CommSec described the jobs improvement as “truly awesome”.

 

 

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