The latest ABS labour force release indicates that Australia’s unemployment rate has reached 6 percent – the highest rate recorded over the past decade.
The estimated 3,700 jobs lost in January is a strong contributing factor to the increased unemployment rate, which is higher today than even its peak in the global financial crisis at 5.9%.
Social researcher Mark McCrindle joins Network Ten’s Wake Up to discuss why Australia’s employment rate has risen:
“It’s largely a factor of the slow-down of the mining boom,” Mark says. “In WA in the last month the unemployment rate has risen by half a percent. The mining sector is our largest employer, so that’s been a big hit.
“Employers are also shifting jobs from full-time to part-time, so we’ve had an increase in part-time roles in the last month but a loss of more than 7,000 full-time roles.”
“It looks like this trend is set to continue, at least for the next six months. The trend line has been ticking up slowly over the last few years. If you go back three years the unemployment rate was just 1% lower than it is today – so the increases haven’t been dramatic.”
“Keep in mind on a global sense, we’re well below the unemployment rate of 6.7% in the US and 7% in the UK, and even 10% in France. In global terms we’re doing ok, but certainly the trend is not good.”
Mark also discusses unemployment rates specific to Victoria and South Australia, including the shift away from auto manufacturing and mining to IT and technical jobs and the knowledge economy.