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SA's jobless rate plummets in March

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South Australia’s unemployment rate dropped sharply in March – taking the state’s headline figure from the equal worst in the nation to the third best.

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The seasonally adjusted rate fell from 6.2 per cent in February to 5.6 per cent in March – the month of the state election.

It is the lowest jobless rate recorded for South Australia since November 2012.

South Australia’s jobless rate was only bettered by Victoria and New South Wales in the data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

The more stable trend rate also dropped – from 6 per cent in February to 5.9 per cent in March.

However, South Australia’s participation rate – the proportion of people either in work or seeking it – dropped by the biggest margin in the country.

In seasonally adjusted terms, South Australia participation rate fell by 0.9 percentage points to 62.4 per cent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 per cent.

State Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni welcomed the figures, which he noted showed an additional 1000 full-time and 600 part-time jobs were created last month (in trend terms).

“Whilst we welcome these encouraging job statistics, we know there is a lot of work to do, and as the new State Government we are committed to lowering costs for businesses so that we have the environment to create more jobs to bolster the South Australian economy,” Pisoni said.

Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said the figures showed Labor left South Australia in strong shape.

“A jobless figure of 5.6 per cent, less than six months after Holden closed, is a remarkable result,” he said.

Nationally, the ABS said the seasonally adjusted employment increased by 4900 persons from February to March 2018 (following a revised decrease of 6,300 persons the preceding month). Underlying this change was a decrease of 19,900 persons in full-time employment and a 24,800 increase in part-time employment.

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