/ 17 September 2021

Getting down to the details

Image source: EPA
Image source: EPA

Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in August – the lowest it’s been in almost 13 years. But there’s some fine print… COVID lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT meant many people gave up looking for work, so they aren’t counted in the official numbers. In NSW, 173,000 jobs were lost in August and the number of hours worked fell 6.5% – and that’s really not good. That weighed heavily on the national numbers, with 211,188 fewer Aussies working in August compared to June. Adding to the whack: the number of hours worked by those who have a job fell by 3.7% last month and underemployment (aka those in work but could do more hours) rose to 9.3%. Experts say the August beating is set to continue until both Sydney and Melbourne ease restrictions in [insert your own estimate here…].

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