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SA jobless rate falls to five-year low

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South Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 2012, with the good news tempered by an accompanying drop in the proportion of people in the labour market.

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for August, released today, show South Australia’s unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) fell to 5.7 per cent in August, down from 6.2 per cent the previous month and only a tick above the national rate.

The performance is the best for the state since November 2012, when the jobless rate was recorded as 5.4 per cent.

South Australia now has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country, behind leader NSW, and on equal footing with Queensland, which recorded exactly the same performance month-on-month.

However, South Australia also recorded the biggest fall in the participation rate – the proportion of people either in the labour market or actively looking for work.

The rate was down 0.2 percentage points, compared to Victoria and Western Australia which both recorded 0.3 percentage point increases.

The more stable trend unemployment rate also dropped – from 6.3 to 6.1 per cent. On this measure, South Australia was the equal worst performing state, alongside Victoria and Tasmania.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was steady at 5.6 per cent.

State Employment Minister Kyam Maher said the figures showed there had been 23 months of jobs growth in South Australia.

“While I welcome the figures, with the closure of Holden just over one month away, now is not the time for complacency,” he said.

more to come

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