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32,000 jobs added: Unemployment falls to 3.4%

Jobs data: People crossing a busy street in the Sydney CBD.
32,000 jobs were added in October. (Source: Getty)

The jobless rate has fallen to 3.4 per cent, from 3.5 per cent in September, according to the latest release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said employment increased by around 32,000 people in October, while the number of people looking for work fell by 21,000.

And Aussies are working more now than they were before the pandemic, with the participation rate coming in just below the record high of 66.7 per cent, at 66.5 per cent.

Aussies also worked more hours, but Javis said this was due to school holidays coming to an end and fewer public holidays.

“However, the number of people on annual leave in October 2022 was around 10 per cent less than we typically see at this time of the year," Jarvis said.

Flood events across New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania also saw more people working reduced hours due to bad weather, increasing from 66,000 people in September to 100,000 in October 2022.

Wages still lagging behind

Despite the strong job numbers, wages data released yesterday showed Aussies were still not getting the larger pay packets to match. Typically, lower unemployment spurs wage rises.

The Wage Price Index increased by 1 per cent in the September quarter and 3.1 per cent annually, according to the ABS.

This was the fastest quarterly growth since March 2012, while the annual growth was the highest recorded since March 2013.

But, despite wages rising at their fastest rate in more than 10 years, they're still lagging behind the rising cost of living.

Inflation surged 7.3 per cent over the 12 months to October. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 1.8 per cent in the September quarter and 7.3 per cent annually for the year to September.

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