Posted February 07, 2019 15:00:38 The latest jobs report showed the unemployment rate remained below the long-term trend in April, but the numbers are far from what was expected.
In fact, the number of people on the job market dropped by 2,100 from April to March, but only by 0.2 per cent, according to figures released on Thursday.
The ABS said the drop in unemployment from April 1 to March 31 was the second consecutive monthly decrease, after the second quarter of 2019.
The jobless rate rose from 8.1 per cent in April to 8.3 per cent last month.
That’s still well above the 4.9 per cent long-run trend.
The labour market recovery is still a long way from being back to normal, and even if it does return to its previous trend, it is unlikely to be enough to lift all of the pain and strain of the recession that started in 2009.
“We need to see further job growth to offset the pain of this recession,” said economist Matt Gurney.
The number of Australians on benefits rose by 9,000, the ABS said.
The fall in unemployment was due to a drop in people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), which is meant to be paid for up to four weeks.
That was due primarily to a rise in claimants in New Zealand and the US.
The data was not immediately available on what would happen to Jobseek benefits once the fall in claimants is reversed.
The unemployment rate has dropped by 0,6 per cent since April last year.
The Reserve Bank said on Thursday it expected the unemployment benefit rate to stay at 8.9 for the remainder of 2019, and would stay there for another six months.
The government has been struggling to get the economy back on track after the Great Recession.
It’s estimated the number will fall below 8.5 per cent by the end of March, meaning the unemployment figure is still well below what the government wants it to be.