Source: Reuters
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  • Australia’s unemployment rate has dropped sharply as NSW and Victorian businesses re-open after months of COVID-19 related lockdowns
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports the jobless rate dropped from 5.2 per cent to 4.6 per cent in November as more people returned to work
  • Employment increased by 366,000 people during the month, while unemployment dropped by 69,000 people, according to the ABS
  • The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record a drop in employment, while the number of young people working increased by 3.7 percentage points

Australia’s unemployment rate has dropped sharply as NSW and Victorian businesses re-open after months of COVID-19 related lockdowns.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports the jobless rate dropped from 5.2 per cent to 4.6 per cent in November as more people returned to work.

Head of Labour Statistics Bjorn Jarvis said there were clear signs of economic recovery from the Delta strain of the virus.

“The latest data shows the extent of recovery between early October and early November in jurisdictions coming out of Delta lockdowns. This included the period of relatively rapid recovery in the second half of October that we saw in payroll jobs data,” he said.

“The easing of restrictions in both New South Wales and Victoria had a large influence on the national figures, with employment in the two states increasing by 180,000 people and 141,000 people between October and November.”

“Employment in those jurisdictions in November was only 52,000 people and 4000 people below May, having fallen by 250,000 people and 145,000 people during the lockdowns.”

Overall, the ABS said employment increased by 366,000 people during the month of November, while unemployment dropped by 69,000 people.

Mr Jarvis explained many people were able to hold onto their jobs throughout the Delta outbreak, helping the jobless rate recover.

“Most people remained attached to their job through the Delta lockdowns and to a greater extent than we saw earlier in the pandemic,” Mr Jarvis said.

“This job attachment meant, as restrictions were eased, many people were able to quickly return to work.”

The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record a drop in employment during the month, down 1.8 per cent from October to November.

The number of young people in the workforce increased by 3.7 percentage points to 70.1 per cent — the highest the rate has been since March 2009.

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