Australia's Unemployment Climbs to 4.1% in January | Uptain

Australia’s Unemployment Climbs to 4.1% in January


Australia’s unemployment rate went above 4% in January, reaching 4.1%, a small increase from December’s 3.9%, with 22,000 more people reported as unemployed, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 Despite a record employment of 14.2 million, job growth slowed during the summer holidays. The gradual rise in unemployment from 3.5% in early 2023 is linked to a cooling economy and 13 interest rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of Australia to control inflation. ABS’s Bjorn Jarvis pointed out that, like in January 2022 and 2023, the increase in January 2024 was associated with more people not currently employed but expecting future employment within the next four weeks.

In January 2024, the labor market hinted at a change in the post-summer employment pattern, with about 5% of non-employed individuals now having job prospects, compared to around 4% in the pre-pandemic January surveys of 2020. The reported outcome was less favorable than economists expected, as the unemployment rate reached 4.1%, differing from the predicted 4%. Nonetheless, the labor market remains historically strong, representing the most robust period for job creation since ABS records began in 1978. Key indicators, such as the participation rate at 66.8% and the employment-to-population ratio at 64.1% in January, though slightly lower, still exceed pre-pandemic levels. Treasurer Jim Chalmers acknowledged potential challenges ahead, mentioning global uncertainty, moderating inflation, and higher interest rates impacting economic growth, despite the government setting a record by creating nearly 650,000 jobs since taking office.


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