A new investigation has shown that the unemployment rate in Australia has dropped down to 5.7 percent. Experts say this is due to the increase in part-time jobs.
Paul Dales, a Capital Economics chief economist, says that they are worried that full-time work is being replaced by part-time employment. While unemployment has dropped, people holding full-time jobs have not improved.
“The number of people working full-time is no higher now than it was in August 2015,” Dales explains. “This is weighing on incomes as lots of people are working fewer hours and the excess supply of labor is keeping wage growth low.”
In comparison, last month’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent, the Bureau of Statistics states. Part-time work increased 13,500 works however a total of 44,800 full-time jobs were lost in January.
The researchers say that they observe that in the last months of 2016, full-time work increased but the statistics in January make them doubt if this would still continue, the ABC reports. But part-time employment is still strong in January.
“We are still seeing strong growth in part-time employment in January 2017 and, in recent months, increasing growth in full-time employment,” points out Bruce Hockman, the general manager of macroeconomic statistics at the Bureau of Statistics. “There are now around 129,800 more people working part-time than there were a year ago, and around 40,100 fewer people working full-time.”
Meanwhile, AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver added that the figures would not affect policymakers. It would remain neutral since most of the jobs are actually part-time employment.
“Yet again, we’ve got that ongoing problem of a fall in full-time jobs … and the quality of employment growth is still lacking in Australia,” Oliver told ABC NewsRadio. Moreover, the researchers also found that the proportion of adults in work or looking for work, which is also called as a participation rate, has also decreased 64.7 percent to 64.6 percent.
The bureau also estimates that the monthly hours worked have increased by 0.6 percent in January. On the other hand, Adam Boyton, an economist at Deutsche Bank, says that the job market is heading sideways. There is little improvement or decline in it.
“Stepping back from the month-to-month noise in these data, we note that the broad trend in the unemployment rate appears to be moving sideways,” Boyton noted. “Indeed, we expect the unemployment rate to trend sideways (of course with the usual noise one sees in these data) for some time.”