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SA unemployment hits 11-year low

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South Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7 per cent, its lowest level since 2010, with the state also shrugging off its highest jobless rate in the nation tag.

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Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released this morning show the national jobless rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 4.7 per cent in July, down from 4.9 per cent in June.

SA’s jobless rate in July fell from 5.3 per cent in June and is now the second-highest in Australia behind Queensland at 5.2 per cent.

It’s SA lowest unemployment rate since January 2010 and the first time it has dipped below 5 per cent since February 2010.

But the state’s youth unemployment rate rose slightly in July to 9.7 per cent from a 10-year low of 9.4 per cent in June.

Despite lockdowns, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania all recorded unemployment rates of 4.5 per cent in July with WA and the Northern Territory on 4.6 per cent.

In South Australia, the employment to population ratio increased to 60 per cent – its highest level since January 2012.

The participation rate, measuring the percentage of people either in work or looking for a job, also increased to 62.9 per cent but is still well below the national average of 66 per cent.

The total number of people with jobs in South Australia reached an all-time record of 877,200 in July. The number of people in full-time employment also reached a record of 565,300.

The unemployment rate was 4.9 per cent for men and just 4.4 per cent for women and there are now 42,900 jobless people in the state – the lowest number since August 2011.

However, underemployment rose by 0.5 per cent to 8.4 per cent, slightly above the national average of 8.3 per cent.

The jobs data reference period was July 4 to 17 and did not include the seven-day South Australian lockdown, which began on July 20.

Seasonally adjusted employment in Australia increased by 2,000 people between June and July but hours worked fell by 0.2 per cent, according to the ABS.

This was underpinned by large changes in the New South Wales and Victorian labour markets.

Head of labour statistics at the ABS Bjorn Jarvis said the July data coincided with the early weeks of the Greater Sydney lockdown, increased restrictions in other parts of New South Wales, and a series of changes in restrictions in other parts of the country.

“The labour market changes in New South Wales between June and July had a large influence on the national figures,” he said.

“There were big falls in New South Wales in both employment (-36,000) and unemployment (-27,000), with the labour force reducing by around 64,000 people.

“In addition, hours worked in New South Wales fell by 7.0 per cent. These changes offset increases in employment and hours in Victoria.”

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