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SA reclaims nation's highest unemployment rate


South Australia has the equal-highest unemployment rate of any state in the country, according to the final release of Australian Bureau of Statistics jobs data for 2019.

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SA’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has risen to 6.3 per cent in November, up from 6.2 per cent in October.

That’s the worst unemployment rate in Australia, alongside Queensland.

The states with the next-highest jobless rates were Tasmania with 6 per cent and Western Australia with 5.8 per cent.

The South Australian participation rate, measuring those in or actively looking for work, increased slightly, by 0.2 percentage points, to 62.9 per cent.

The more stable trend rate of unemployment was unchanged, also at 6.3.


Innovation and Skills Minister David Pisoni said the increase in the unemployment rate was explained by the increase in the participation rate.

“Growing the economy and jobs is the central focus of the Marshall Liberal Government, and while we welcome the fact there has been solid employment growth since March 2018, we know there is much more work to be done to ensure there are more jobs and opportunities for South Australians in the coming months and years,” said Pisoni.

“We are driving positive jobs growth today through lowering costs for businesses in SA – including the abolition of payroll tax for all small businesses and by reducing the top land tax rate from a national high 3.7 per cent to just 2.4 per cent.

“ABS data also indicates that over the year to August 2019 the average number of job vacancies in South Australia was 38.9 per cent higher than five years earlier.”

But Opposition employment spokesperson Tom Koutsantonis said the data was “terrible news for all the South Australian families who now face a tougher Christmas and an uncertain 2020″.

“Steven Marshall made a clear promise to the people of South Australia – he promised more jobs,” he said.

“Yet since he was elected, the unemployment rate has increased from 5.6 per cent to 6.3 per cent, and South Australia has gone from having the third lowest unemployment rate to the equal highest.”

Across the country, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 per cent to 5.2 per cent in November, while the participation rate remained steady at 66 per cent.

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