Is Australia entering a new phase of pandemic recovery? New employment data suggest the economic plans set forth by the Morrison government are "working".
In February, employment increased by 77,400 or 0.6% (seasonally adjusted) for a record high of 13,372,000. The results beat market expectations. Meanwhile, unemployment fell to 4.0%.
Over the same period, full-time employment increased by 121,900 (1.3%), but part-time work decreased by 44,500 (1.1%), according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
With transmission of the Omicron variant seen as slowing down, aggregate hours worked also "rebounded sharply" by 148.7 million hours (8.9%). Workers clocked in 48,400 (2.7%) more hours compared to March 2020 figures.
Moreover, the labour force participation rate soared to a new record high of 66.4% while the female participation rate hit a record high of 62.4%.
Today’s figures reflect the underlying strength and resilience of the Australian labour market, despite the temporary setback caused by the Omicron outbreak, the employment ministry reported.
"The opening of Australia’s international borders, together with a long pipeline of construction activity and strong Government fiscal support, should result in a continued expansion in labour market activity in the months ahead, despite the economic headwinds resulting from the war in Ukraine, the flooding in Eastern Australia and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19."