Unemployment soars as almost 230,000 jobs are lost

The number of people unemployed in Australia is inching closer to the million mark, while one in five Australians are now either without a job or with less hours.

The unemployment rate has risen from a revised 6.4 per cent in April, to 7.1 per cent in May.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a total of 227,700 jobs were lost between mid-April and mid-May.


Full-time jobs fell by 89,100 while part-time positions dropped by 138,600.

The number of people now unemployed in Australia has risen to 927,600, a jump of 85,700.

The total number of people looking for work has also fallen to its lowest level since January 2001, with the participation rate dropping to 62.9 per cent.

There was a slight improvement in underemployment which is now at 13.1 per cent, but that is still 4.3 per cent higher than March.

More than 1.7 million Australians are now classed as underemployed, a massive jump of 552,000 since May last year.

Underutilisation, which combines unemployment and underemployment, is now at a record high 20.2 per cent.

“The ABS estimates that a combined group of around 2.3 million people – around 1 in 5 employed people – were affected by either job loss between April and May or had less hours than usual for economic reasons in May,” ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said.

Youth unemployment has risen to 16.1 per cent, up 2 points on last month’s figures, with youth jobs falling by almost 103,000.

Western Australia has seen the biggest jump in unemployment of all the states, jumping 2 per cent to 8.1 per cent.

Queensland and South Australia’s unemployment rates are at 7.9 per cent with the Northern Territory at 7.4 per cent.

Victoria’s unemployment rate rose 0.9 per cent to 6.9 per cent, while New South Wales was up just 0.1 per cent to 6.4 per cent, alongside Tasmania.

The ACT saw the only increase, up 0.1 per cent to 4.1 per cent.

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