Sharp fall in unemployment as jobs return to pre-COVID levels

The number of people employed in Australia has returned to pre-pandemic levels following a huge increase in the number of jobs.

That has seen Australia’s unemployment rate plunge from a revised 6.3 per cent in January to 5.8 per cent in February.

Employment rose by 88,700 in February taking the total to just over 13 million.


That is around 4,000 more than in March 2020.

Of the total increase in employment, women accounted for 69,000 jobs.

The participation rate remained steady at 66.1 per cent while underemployment rose by 0.4 points to 8.5 per cent.

The total number of unemployed people fell by 69,900 to 805,200.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the figures are a shot in the arm and show the economy is back.

“In Australia we have seen one of the most remarkable performances of Australians in our Australian economy that we have seen,” Mr Morrison said.

“In less than 12 months from when the recession began, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are now more jobs in the Australian economy than there were before the pandemic.

“That is something that is truly remarkable and is a great credit to every Australian who hung in there, every Australian business who kept people in jobs, everyone who played a role in ensuring that we did everything that we possibly could to see that Australia continues to come through this COVID-19 pandemic and recession in the best way that we possibly can.”

South Australia has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 6.8 per cent (down 0.2 points), followed by Queensland which recorded the biggest fall, dropping 0.8 points to 6.1 per cent.

Western Australia’s lockdown resulted in the country’s lowest fall in unemployment, down 0.1 points to 6 per cent, while Tasmania’s was down 0.2 points to 5.7 per cent

Victoria’s dropped by 0.7 points as it continues its recovery, coming in at 5.6 per cent while the unemployment rate in New South Wales was also on 5.6 per cent (down 0.4 points)

The unemployment rate in the Northern Territory was down 0.7 points to 4.9 per cent while the ACT saw a fall of 0.3 points to 4.1 per cent.

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