Labour Force February 2008: Strong Labour Market Continues

Media Release

    Labour force figures released today by the ABS show Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 4.0 per cent in February 2008, its lowest level since November 1974.

    The labour force participation rate was steady in February, at 65.2 per cent, but has risen from the 64.9 per cent recorded a year ago.

    Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 36 700 over the month, exceeding market expectations, to stand at 10 665 500.

    Importantly, full-time employment increased by 47 700 in February to 7 633 500, while part-time employment fell by 11 000.

    The Rudd Government is acutely aware of the need to address inflationary pressures to achieve sustainable economic and labour market growth in the longer term.

    To this end, the Government has developed a five point plan to fight inflation; simultaneously boosting the productive capacity of the economy and effective labour supply.Industrial disputes figures also released by the ABS today show that the number of disputes in the year to December 2007 dropped by 67 to 135; from 202 in the year to December 2006.Consistent with recent trend, during 2007 there were 49 700 working days lost compared with 132 600 in the year ended December 2006.The greatest decline in days lost due to industrial action remains the period after the Labor government de-centralised the labour market in 1993.

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