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SA jobless rate drops, along with participation figures


South Australia’s unemployment rate has stepped down from its previous 18 month high, dropping 0.6 per cent to 5.7 per cent in February, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures released today.


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But the state’s trend jobless figure – considered a more accurate barometer than volatile seasonally adjusted numbers – remained steady at 5.9 per cent.

The national trend unemployment rate dropped slightly, from 5.0 to 4.9 per cent, with the total number of jobless climbing slightly to 673,100 people.

Today’s figures show South Australia performing better than Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, but lagging behind Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales – the national leader with a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.3 per cent.

South Australia’s participation rate – recording the proportion of people either in the workforce or actively seeking work – dropped 0.2 per cent last month to 62.4 per cent, compared with a national average of 65.6 per cent.

Nationally, another 290,700 people found work in the past year, the 2.3 per cent increase exceeding the 2 per cent average recorded over the past 20 years.

SA employment minister David Pisoni said the latest figures indicated continued confidence and growth in the state economy, but there was more to do.

“The Marshall Liberal Government’s plan is to create more than 20,800 apprenticeships and traineeships over four years to drive employment growth, and ensure we provide the skills necessary to diversify into new industries such as Defence, space, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and the aged and disability care sector,” he said.

“In recent months we have seen solid full-time jobs growth, with more people finding work as employers respond favourably to the Marshall Liberal Government’s policies including scrapping payroll tax for thousands of small businesses.”

Pisoni said bank and business survey showed the level of business confidence was at eight to ten year highs.

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