The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.4 per cent, from 3.5 per cent last September, according to the latest release from the ABS.
In fact, employment increased by around 32,000 people in October, while the number of people looking for work fell by 21,000.
And more Aussies are working now than before the pandemic, with the participation rate coming in just below the record high of 66.7 per cent, at 66.5 per cent.
Bjorn Jarvis, Head of Labour Statistics at ABS commented:
"Aussies also worked more hours due to school holidays coming to an end and fewer public holidays.
However, the number of people on annual leave in October 2022 was around 10 per cent less than we typically see at this time of the year.
Flood events across New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania also saw more people working reduced hours due to bad weather, increasing from 66,000 people in September to 100,000 in October 2022."
Wage growth, as represented by the Wage Price Index (WPI), grew by 1.00 per cent in the September quarter, the fastest quarterly growth rate in 10½ years (since March quarter 2012).
Annual WPI growth lifted from 2.63 per cent in the June quarter to 3.13 per cent in the September quarter, the fastest growth for 9½ years (since March 2013).
Of course, real wages (after inflation) are not keeping up with the CPI and the cost of living
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The seasonally adjusted underemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 5.9 per cent, 2.8 percentage points below the pre-pandemic rate.
The underutilisation rate, which combines the unemployment and underemployment rates, fell 0.2 percentage points to 9.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms.
This was 4.6 percentage points below March 2020, and the lowest rate since March 1982.
Mr Jarvis said.
“The low underutilisation rate of 9.3 per cent in October 2022 reflects the fact that there are now around 236,000 fewer unemployed people and 365,000 fewer underemployed people than in March 2020.
Unemployment and underemployment are both now around two-thirds of what they were,”
While the pace of employment gains slowed as the rapid pandemic recovery and expansion matured, the softness of recent outcomes was difficult to square with still exceptionally elevated levels of employment demand.
Today’s data is more consistent with ongoing employment growth with population growth continuing to recover.
The civilian working age population growth estimate is running at 1.4% annualised in October.
That’s consistent with employment growth of around 15,000 per month to maintain stable unemployment and participation rates.
Sources of charts: NAB