Australia’s unemployment rate has risen by 0.1 per cent in April to 3.7 per cent, according to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
It comes as the ABS reported roughly 4300 people lost their job during the month, fuelling concerns amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. The nation’s unemployed tally sits at an estimated 521,800 people.
The number of unemployed people also increased by 18,400 during April, seasonally adjusted.
The employment-to-population ratio dropped point two per cent to 64.2 per cent in April, while the participation rate lowered 0.1 per cent to 66.7 per cent.
ABS Head of Labour Statistics Bjorn Jarvis said despite falls, both indicators were still “well-above” pre-COVID times.
“Even with these falls, both indicators were still well above pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels and close to their historical highs in 2022,” he said.
Seasonally adjusted monthly hours also saw a rise of 2.6 per cent in April as fewer people took or weren’t able to take leave.
“The last time Easter and the survey period aligned like this was in 2015, when around 60 per cent of employed people worked fewer hours than usual. This Easter it was only around 55 per cent of employed people,” Mr Jarvis said.
“This may reflect more people taking their leave earlier or later than usual, or that some people were unable to, given the high number of vacancies that we’re still seeing employers reporting.”
The nation’s underemployment rate also fell 0.1 per cent to 6.1 per cent during April, seasonally adjusted, following a 0.4 per cent rise in March.
“The underemployment rate is still low in historic terms, around 2.6 percentage points lower than before the pandemic, and underpinned by faster growth in hours worked than employment,” Mr Jarvis added.
A measure of both unemployment and underemployment rates, the underutilisation rate, was also up slightly in April to 9.8 per cent and 4.2 per cent lower than in March 2020.