ABS offers contrasting view of February unemployment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its latest report into the Australian Labour Force, offering a contrasting view to that expressed by Roy Morgan earlier this month.

According to the ABS, the number of Australians employed actually increased by 47,300 in February. 80,500 people found full-time employment, while the number of people employed on a part-time basis decreased by 33,300.

Overall, that means 11,530,800 people are currently in full-time or part-time work in Australia, meaning the rounded estimate for unemployment has actually remained steady at 6.0 per cent.

In contrast, Roy Morgan claimed that Australian unemployment reached a 20-year record high of 12.3 per cent during February, following a full 1 per cent month-over-month increase. 

This renewed positivity in the job market contributed to a spike in the value of the Australian dollar, which exceeded 90 US cents on March 13, according to the Australian Financial Review. 

Writing for Business Insider Australia, GlobalFX CEO Greg McKenna noted that the surge in full-time employment was "simply huge for an economy the size of Australia".

"It flies in the face of indicators such as the NAB Business survey employment index and the Westpac Consumer sentiment unemployment index, both of which point to a weak labour market," wrote Mr McKenna.

"Bottom line: this data is a solid report which should go some way in assuaging the concerns of consumers about their employment prospects in the months ahead."

This increase in employment will likely fuel greater confidence amongst jobseekers, and may drive more Australians to pursue new career opportunities or revamp their current hunt for employment.

For that reason, now is a great time for recruitment agencies to take a close look at their candidate search capabilities and workflow automation processes.

Investing in recruitment software such as FastTrack360 is a great option, as it will equip your agency with the tools and resources you need to ensure candidates are being placed in the most suitable roles. 

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