18,100 jobs cause a surprise drop in Unemployment Rate

Australian Bureau of Statistics today released its monthly Labour Force figures for the month of March 2014. Much to the surprise of economists, the unemployment rate has dropped 2 basis points from 6.0 percent to 5.8 percent. It had been initially predicted that the average unemployment rate would increase to 6.1%.


ABS reported that the Australian economy has added 18,100 jobs in March. However, this may not be as good a news as it seems at first glance, suggest Job Market Analysts at People Innovations. Analysts believe that these figures may not draw a clear picture of the country’s employment scenario because, in essence, full-time employment has decreased 22,100. The increase in employment numbers can be mainly contributed to part-time employment figures that increased 40,200 for the month.

Participation Rate - 12 months

Participation Rate – 12 months

Moreover, while the unemployment numbers decreased by 29,900, the total number of people looking for full-time employment decreased by 16,700 leading to a decline in the participation rate. Therefore, while the unemployment rate has dropped for the month of March, the corresponding drop in participation rate & number of full-time employment are signs of continually weakening of the labor market.

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