Australia’s official unemployment rate has fallen to 3.5 per cent after 88,000 jobs were added in June.
That’s the lowest unemployment rate in 48 years, going back to August 1974 when the rate was 2.7 per cent.
“The large fall in the unemployment rate this month reflects more people than usual entering employment and also lower-than-usual numbers of employed people becoming unemployed,” head of labour statistics at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Bjorn Jarvis said.
“Together, these flows reflect an increasingly tight labour market, with high demand for engaging and retaining workers, as well as ongoing labour shortages.”
The fall in unemployment through the pandemic has coincided with large increases in job vacancies (480,000 in May 2022).
As a result, there were almost the same number of unemployed people in June 2022 (494,000 people) as there were vacant jobs.
“This equates to around one unemployed person per vacant job, compared with three times as many people before the start of the pandemic,” Jarvis said.'
The low unemployment rate is actually bad news for businesses who are struggling to fill positions.
According to the latest SEEK employment data, job ads pulled back slightly in June but were still 23.3 per cent higher, year-on-year, and 52.4 per cent above June 2019 levels.
“With skills shortages locally and overseas, international economic uncertainty and rising operational costs, businesses in all industries are under pressure,” SEEK ANZ managing director Kendra Banks said.
“Despite a month-on-month drop in job ads across many industries in June, job ads remain very high compared to last quarter, last year and pre-pandemic levels.”