More than 110,000 Australians found work between April and May as the unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 per cent, fresh ABS figures have revealed.
The May figure is down from 5.5 per cent in April, and represents the seventh month in a row that the unemployment rate has fallen.
“Employment increased by 115,000 people in May, following the 31,000 fall in April, around the Easter holiday period,” said ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis.
“The declining unemployment rate continues to align with the strong increases in job vacancies,” Jarvis added.
Job ads have been climbing steadily, reaching levels not seen in 12 years, sparking concern among some businesses and recruitment firms of a workforce shortage.
The 5.1 per cent unemployment figure is lower than when the pandemic hit in March 2020, during which the jobless rate was 5.3 per cent.
More women than men found jobs, with 69,000 women finding employment in May compared to 46,000 men.
"The increase in female employment in May means that a higher percentage of women were in paid work than ever before – 58.8 per cent, 0.7 percentage points higher than the start of the pandemic,” Jarvis said.
“The difference was even greater for women aged 15 to 64, whose employment-to-population ratio in May was 1.5 percentage points above March 2020.”
The participation rate also rose slightly by 0.3 per cent to 66.2 per cent, nearing its record high of 66.3 per cent from March this year.
Underemployment also fell slightly to 7.4 per cent, the lowest it’s been since January 2014.
However, it’s bad news for young people: the youth unemployment rate rose incrementally by 0.1 per cent to 10.7 per cent.
Though this figure is in the double digits, it’s relatively low, Jarvis indicated.
“The last time we saw a youth unemployment rate as low as in April and May 2021 was in January 2009,” he said.