This article on Australia’s unemployment rate illustrates how the decline in jobs and insufficient hours given to labourers impacts our unemployment rate. Although one month’s rate reading is not generally something to be worried about, it does cause some concerns as 5.9% is the highest reading for 13 months. This is surprising even for analysts considering the rise in full time jobs.
In February, it was recorded that over 6000 jobs were lost which came as a surprise considering the 16,000 new jobs that were created. The leading causes to the job losses were because; the hours given to workers were too short, and the general shift from part time employment to full time employment. Many people are not able to take up full time work due to household commitments and the shift from part time to full time employment can be an issue for those people. Others may be causal workers that need a few more hours of work a week but cannot get them and are forced to leave their jobs to find another that accommodate them with more hours.
One month’s unemployment rate reading should not really be much of a concern but because this shows a record high in 13 months, which surpassed the analyst’s predictions of 5.7%, it does become a cause for concern. Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, demonstrated his fury on these readings by stating that it is “disturbing news… we are at 1.8 million-plus of our fellow Australians who either can find no work or insufficient work”. Prime Minister Turnbull was more optimistic about the unemployment figures by suggesting that the general trend in the Australian economy over the past few months reflects a “resilient” Australia.
Overall, I don’t think that these figures are to be worried about unless is progresses and shows a similar trend over the next few months.
How is this likely to affect households?
A rise in unemployment will generally cause a lower level of material and non-material living standards. Households that lack steady incomes will not be able to purchase goods or services that would increase their material standard of living which can create dissatisfaction with their lives and perhaps even mental health issues. Also, the stress and pressure of not having a steady income can lead to decreased non-material living standards. One of the economies main goals is to establish higher levels of living standards and with out jobs, that goal cannot be achieved.
Questions for you
How do you think Australia’s unemployment rate will hold up? What can be done to lift the employment rate?