Unemployment at highest level in 12 years

The unemployment rate rose to 6.4% in June, the highest it has been since August 2002. 14,500 full time positions were added but 14,800 part time jobs were lost, causing the economy to lose around 300 jobs in July.

The labour force data is causing some analysts to worry, with HSBC Chief Economist Paul Bloxham calling the labour market “weak”. This is the first time since 2007 that the country’s unemployment rate finished higher than the United States, currently at 6.2%. The recent announcements caused the Australian dollar to drop to 92.96 US cents from 93.55 US cents.

Read more about this on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Unemployment drops after a 6.4% spike in July

A surprise drop was recorded in August as the unemployment rate finished at 6.1%, a slight improvement from July’s 6.4%. 121,000 jobs were added to the labour sector, with participation rates increasing to 65.2%.

Employment was driven up by an increase on part time employment, with 65,400 males and 41,300 females employed, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Australian dollar has increased to US92 cents as news of the job increase surfaced – the first time it has been in the 92 – 95 cent range since March this year.

Read more about this on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Unemployment remains unchanged

The May unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8%, with 22,000 full time jobs added to the economy despite a 27,000 loss in part time jobs, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Reserve Bank will not make any changes to the interest rate upon hearing the news, citing the high Australian dollar and slow economic activity as factors in their decision.

The recent results are more than the forecast of 10,000 new jobs, but the drop in the participation rate is offsetting the numbers of jobs added, dropping to 64.6% as opposed to 64.7% for the previous month. The younger generations are also having trouble looking for a job, where there are 126,000 fewer jobs for people under 25.

Read more about this on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Government to offer unemployment benefits starting July 1

A new scheme is in the works to assist unemployed individuals with new incentives to assist in fees, bond and rent for job seekers aged 18 – 30 years old. A total $157 million is allotted for this scheme, according to Minister for Employment, Eric Abetz.

Individuals will be receiving $2,500 for being employed for the first year, and an additional $4,000 for two years. Relocation assistance will also be provided – up to $6,000 for families moving to a regional area and $3,000 for those relocating to a city. Unemployed parents with dependents can receive up to $9,000 in government funding.

This government initiative is driven by the Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill of 2014, which also requires individuals to receive the Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance Other for 12 months, provided that they are employed for a minimum of 12 months off benefits.

The relocation assistance is a replacement of the Move 2 Work initiative, which will expire on June 30 this year. All bonuses are tax free.

Read more about this on the Property Observer website.

Unemployment data shocks economists

Unemployment was at a decade high last month, and economists were in for a surprise as they forecasted the unemployment rate to rise at 6.1%. Instead, the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, with 18,100 jobs added to the economy. Full time jobs dropped to 22,100 as part time jobs increased to 40,200, according to the Bureau of Statistics.

Barclays’ chief economist for Australia has seen rising confidence in job hirings this year, consistent with the improvements in business surveys and job ads. The Australian dollar increased to US 94.40 cents upon release of the unemployment data.

Read more about this on the Sydney Morning Herald website.