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65,000 jobs added: Unemployment falls to 3.5%

A whopping 65,000 Aussies found employment in February.

Jobs: Construction workers. and pedestrians crossing a busy street.
Jobs boom as 65,000 Aussies find work in February. (Source: Getty)

The official unemployment rate has fallen to 3.5 per cent in February, reinforcing the incredibly tight jobs market at the moment, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“With employment increasing by around 65,000 people, and the number of unemployed decreasing by 17,000 people, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 per cent. This was back to the level we saw in December,” ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said.

“The February increase in employment follows consecutive falls in December and January. In January, this reflected a larger-than-usual number of people waiting to start a new job, the majority of whom returned to or commenced their jobs in February.

“This was particularly evident in the south-east of Australia, with larger-than-seasonal numbers of people entering into employment across New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.”

With the higher-than-usual number of people transitioning into employment in February, the number of people indicating they were waiting to start a new job also returned to close to normal levels.

In line with the increase in employment, the employment-to-population ratio increased 0.2 per cent to 64.3 per cent in February, back to the level seen in December 2022.

The participation rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 66.6 per cent in February, also back to the December 2022 level.

Aussies putting in more hours

Along with an increase in employment ,monthly hours worked increased by 3.9 per cent in February 2023.

“Following the 2.1 per cent fall in January, when more Australians than usual took annual leave, the hours worked in February bounced back strongly to a level similar to late 2022, and were 5.1 per cent higher than February 2022,” Jarvis said.

“In February, there were also no major disruptions that affected peoples’ ability to work their normal hours, such as the widespread sickness or natural disasters that we have seen over recent years.”

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