Labour force figures released today by the ABS show that seasonally adjusted employment fell by 6,400 over the month, to 11,998,800. Despite this fall, employment has risen by 104,600 (or 0.9 per cent) over the year.  

Encouragingly, full-time employment increased by 27,100 in February, to 8,158,900, while part-time employment fell by 33,500, to 3,840,000.

The number of unemployed Australians increased by 26,000 in February, to 748,100.

The unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage points over the month, to 5.9 per cent in February 2017.

The youth unemployment rate also rose over the month, from 12.3 per cent in January 2017, to 13.3 per cent in February 2017. 

Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, welcomed today’s rise in full-time employment, on the back of the recent rebound in economic activity, marking 25 years of continuous economic growth. 

Minister Birmingham said that a re-balancing of growth away from the mining industry towards the labour-intensive services sector was set to continue.

“Since the Coalition came to office in September 2013, we have created 534,400 jobs, an increase of 4.7 per cent,” Minister Birmingham said.  

“While ABS labour force figures can jump around from month to month, today’s data continue to reflect a resilient Australian labour market but also highlight the pressing need to continue with the Coalition’s plan to strengthen the economy and stimulate further jobs growth.

“We are acutely aware that there are too many Australians who remain unemployed, without the security and dignity of work, and that significant economic challenges lie ahead.

“That’s why we’re committed to creating the right policy frameworks that will facilitate stronger jobs growth, so that all Australians can take advantage of new, emerging job opportunities.” 

Key initiatives from the Turnbull Government to achieve this end include:

  • The 20 year defence industry plan that will drive new high-tech employment, including 3,600 direct jobs as part of the Government’s shipbuilding plan;
  • A record investment in infrastructure for roads, rail, airports and dams. This includes $220 million into a Regional Jobs and Investment Package to help regions in Australia diversify their economies, stimulate long-term economic growth and deliver sustainable employment;
  • A $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, which is part of the Government’s commitment to establishing Australia as a leading innovation system; 
  • The $853.3 million Youth Employment Package to help up to 120,000 vulnerable young people take advantage of job opportunities as the economy diversifies and transitions to broader-based growth;
  • The Government’s 10 year Enterprise Tax Plan, which will support growth, higher wages and jobs by lowering the tax rate for companies over time to an internationally competitive level; and
  • The $7.5 billion investment in jobactive, which offers a mix of incentives and services for job seekers, as well as better support for employers.