Bill's Media Releases

Unemployment rate falls to 5.2 per cent

Labour force figures released today by the ABS show that, despite the ongoing volatility and headwinds in the global economy, employment expanded solidly in November, increasing by 13,900 (at the upper end of market expectations) to stand at 11,546,400, a record high.

 Part-time employment increased by 18,100 in November, partly offset by a 4,200 decline in full-time employment, following four consecutive monthly increases totalling 67,100. 

 The unemployment rate in Australia fell to 5.2 percent in November, reflecting today’s solid employment results and a slight decline in the labour force participation rate, which ticked-down by 0.1 percentage points to stand at 65.1 percent.

 The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, welcomed today’s stronger than expected employment result, highlighting that 843,800 jobs had been created since the Labor Government came to office five years ago (or around 460 jobs per day), an outstanding achievement, given fragile global growth, record high unemployment in the euro area and ongoing uncertainty around the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ in the United States.

 “These are a very respectable set of numbers and some good jobs news heading into Christmas, but we cannot be complacent for a moment”, Mr Shorten said.

 “This Labor Government’s impressive labour market record over the last five years does stand in stark contrast to the rest of the world, where millions of jobs have been lost.”

 “We have also seen almost 50,000 jobs created across Australia since the introduction of the carbon price.”

 “Unlike much of the developed world, Australia nonetheless has a strong combination of solid growth, low interest rates, contained inflation, low debt and an enormous investment pipeline, which will help support continued jobs growth, going forward.  We are also overseeing a historic multi-billion dollar investment in skills and training to ensure our workforce is smart and resilient for the future.”

 “Nevertheless the Gillard Government remains acutely aware that there conditions remain patchy in some sectors and some Australian businesses and families are under pressure,” Mr Shorten said.

 “That is why we will continue to help to ease the cost of living pressures for many families, including through our strict fiscal discipline which has given the Reserve Bank room to cut interest rates by 175 basis points over the past 13 months. Lower interest rates are continuing to provide support to businesses struggling in the retail, manufacturing and other sectors due to the high Australian dollar and ongoing global headwinds.”

“This Government will not rest on its laurels and will continue with the critical reforms and far-sighted policy decisions that have made our labour market the envy of the industrialised world,” Mr Shorten said. 

Mr Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey  0421 697 660