Anne Stahl

May unemployment rate up by 0.2%

MORE than 46,000 people found full-time work in May despite a slight increase in the overall unemployment rate.

As expected the monthly jobs figure, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, showed unemployment rose 0.2% in May to 5.1%.

Employment rose by 38,900 for the month, with the increase in full-time jobs offset by a reduction of 7200 in part-time employment.

A total of 22,400 people lost their jobs in May, with an increase in the number of people looking for work - 15,900 wanting part-time work and 6500 seeking full-time employment - driving the increase in employment.

The ABS also analysed employment trends in Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland for the past 15 years.

The research revealed Queensland and New South Wales are enjoying lower levels of unemployment than they have for much of the past 15 years.

In NSW the trend unemployment rate now sits at 5.1%, almost 3% lower than the 8% number of 15 years ago, while in Queensland the current 5.5% rate compares favourably with the 9.8% figure of 1997.

The low unemployment numbers in those states coincides with a decrease in the percentage of people employed in trade-exposed export industries and an increase in the size of the mining industry as an employer, as well as an increase in the percentage of people employed in professional, administrative, public and health industries.

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