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Unemployment Down, Population Up: What It Means for Australia’s Economy | Property Insiders [Video]

key takeaways

Key takeaways

Australia's population grew by 2.5 per cent to 26.97 million people in 2023, with net overseas migration driving 84 per cent of this growth and natural increase accounting for 16 per cent.

In May, the unemployment rate fell to 4.0 per cent, with employment rising by 40,000 people and the number of unemployed people falling by 9,000 people. However, there are still almost 600,000 unemployed people, an average increase of 12,000 people each month.

The seasonally adjusted employment-to-population ratio and participation rate remained at higher than pre-pandemic levels, suggesting the labour market remains relatively tight, though less than in late 2022 and early 2023.

Western Australia had the fastest-growing population, followed by Victoria and Queensland, with Tasmania seeing the lowest growth. However, Victoria had the highest net migration.

There is no sign of a winter slowdown as auction markets return from last week's holiday break. Adelaide had the strongest auction clearance rate of 75.8%.

The national weekend auction market reported a clearance rate of 67.2%, higher than the previous weekend's 67.1% but lower than the same weekend last year.

Australia's population grew by 2.5 per cent to 26.97 million people in 2023, according to the latest figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Net overseas migration drove 84 per cent of this population growth, while natural increase accounted for the other 16 per cent.

On the same day, the ABS told us that our unemployment rate fell to 4.0 per cent, with employment rising by around 40,000 people and the number of unemployed falling by 9,000 people.

This is despite the huge growth in our population over the last year, and in this week’s Property Insider chat, Dr Andrew Wilson, chief economist of My Housing Market, gives his thoughts on these stats.

Unemployment rate falls to 4.0% in May

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 4.0 per cent in May, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with employment rising by around 40,000 people and the number of unemployed falling by 9,000 people.

Jobless Rate Still Low May 2024

In April we saw more unemployed people than usual waiting to start work.

Some of the fall in unemployment and rise in employment in May reflects these people starting or returning to their jobs.

While the total number of unemployed people fell by 9,000 in May, this followed a 33,000 increase in April.

Unemployment was around 24,000 people more than in March, an average increase of around 12,000 people each month.

There are now almost 600,000 unemployed people; however, that is still nearly 110,000 fewer people than in March 2020, just before the pandemic.”

As a result of the increase in employment and the fall in unemployment, the seasonally adjusted employment-to-population ratio remained at 64.1 per cent and the participation rate remained at 66.8 per cent.

Australian Employment 17 June

The employment-to-population ratio and participation rate both continue to be much higher than their pre-pandemic levels.

Together with elevated levels of job vacancies, this suggests the labour market remains relatively tight, though less than in late 2022 and early 2023.

Participation Rates 17 June

Western Australia and NSW had the lowest unemployment rate and Victoria had the highest unemployment rate, however at 4.4% that’s still a very low jobless level.

Wa And Nsw Lowest

Overseas migration is booming

Australia's population grew by 2.5 per cent to 26.97 million people in 2023, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Net overseas migration drove 84 per cent of this population growth, while natural increase accounted for the other 16 per cent.

Net overseas migration was 547,300 people in 2023, with 751,500 arrivals and 204,200 departures.

Natural increase was 103,900 people in 2023, 6.4 per cent less than in 2022. This is made up of 287,100 births and 183,100 deaths registered in Australia.

National Annual Net Migration

Western Australia had the fastest-growing population, up 3.3 per cent from 2022.

This was followed by Victoria, which grew by 2.8 per cent, and Queensland, which grew by 2.6 per cent.

Tasmania saw the lowest growth, at 0.4 per cent.

However, when looking at the  numbers of total net migration (interstate and overseas), Victoria came out on top.

This may help stimulate Melbourne’s languishing housing markets.

Remarkable Rebound Continues

Nsw Tops Net Overseas Migration

No sign of a winter slowdown as auction markets return

Weekend auction markets returned from last week’s holiday break and continue to report solid to strong results with no sign of a winter slowdown.

Adelaide had the strongest auction clearance rate of 75.8%.

Auction clearance results for the other capitals were:- Melbourne - 65.9%; Sydney - 70.8%; Brisbane - 57.5% and Canberra - 66.0%.

The national weekend auction market reported a clearance rate of 67.2% which was nearly identical to the 67.1% reported over the previous weekend – but again lower than the 71.7% recorded over the same weekend last year.

National auction numbers were predictably higher over the weekend with 2068 listings versus the previous weekend's 1062, and again still significantly above 1310 listed over the same post-holiday weekend last year.

The weekend auction market has again reported more positive results generally for sellers, with the RBA likely to leave rates on hold again over June at next week's meeting, providing some certainty to buyers and sellers.

Auction Results 15 June

About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
120 comments

Wages growth figures don’t include superannuation or the recent payroll tax changes in Victoria either. This means that the actual cost to business has had at least another 2% added to the payroll over the past few years with some more yet to com ...Read full version

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That is the nature of the game. Stagnant, stagnant, stagnant, stagnant (half the investment punters give up and sell), stagnant, stagnant (most of the rest do the same), stagnant, stagnant, explodes recouping all the losses and more so those who hung ...Read full version

1 reply

I just pulled out an old residential lease dated 2013 and found the rent on that was the same as it was in 2022/23. So in reality rents didnt go anywhere for 10 whole years. A little up, then and a lot of down during COVID19, and then up again. Its ...Read full version

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