The employment rate fell to 69.1 percent from a series high of 69.8 percent last quarter. However, the rate remains historically high – the fifth highest rate since the Household Labour Force Survey began in 1986.
“The fall in the employment rate over the quarter reflects two factors – growth in the working-age population and a decrease in the number of employed people,” Treliving said.
The employment rate is the number of employed people as a proportion of the working-age population. The working-age population grew by 31,000 over the quarter, while the number of employed people fell by 6,000.
Household Labour Force Survey results for the September 2023 quarter showed the labour force participation rate was down 0.5pp (percentage points) to 72.0 percent. This rate is derived from labour force divided by working-age population. The employment rate was down 0.7pp to 69.1 percent. This is derived from employed divided by working-age population. The unemployment rate was up 0.3pp to 3.9 percent. This is derived from unemployed divided by labour force. The underutilisation rate was up 0.4pp to 10.4 percent. This is derived from total underutilised divided by extended labour force.
The working-age population was up 31,000 to 4,222,000. This is made up of the labour force, up 2,000 to 3,037,000, and people not in the labour force, up 29,000 to 1,184,000. The labour force is made up of employed people, down 6,000 to 2,919,000, and those unemployed, up 8,000 to 118,000.
Average ordinary time hourly earnings from the Quarterly Employment Survey were up 6.7 percent annually, to $40.40.
Annual wage inflation from the labour cost index was 4.3 percent, for all industries and occupations combined.
Average weekly earnings from the QES were up 5.5 percent annually, to $1,558.