Australia’s Unemployment in September Rises to 4.6%

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced on Thursday (14th) that due to the covid-19 epidemic and related lockdown measures that forced companies to lay off employees, the number of employees in Australia fell sharply for the second consecutive month in September, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.6%.

The number of employed persons in Australia fell by 138,000 in September, the second consecutive month of decline. The unemployment rate rose to 4.6% from 4.5% in August, mainly due to the lockdown imposed by New South Wales and Victoria in September.

However, some experts believe that with the lifting of the Sydney blockade, the labor market is expected to start to gradually improve.

In addition, the data also showed that the employment participation rate in Australia fell by 0.7 percentage points to 64.5% in September, which was lower than the historical high of 66.2% in June.

The Bank of Australia (RBA) warned that the unemployment rate may exceed 5% by the end of the year, but with the relaxation of the anti-epidemic lockdown, business activities will pick up quickly. The Bank of Australia still believes that the unemployment rate needs to drop to 4% or lower to drive wages up.

RBA vice president Guy Debelle said that although the labor market had been recovering strongly before the lockdown, wages were still sluggish, and few workers had annual salary increases of more than 2%.

RBA President Philip Lowe once said that the Delta variant virus hit Australia’s economic recovery, and economic growth fell in the third quarter, but the impact was only short-lived. With the further increase in the vaccination rate and the relaxation of the epidemic prevention and blockade restrictions, the economy is expected to continue to rebound.

Lowe also said that although there is still uncertainty about the speed and timing of economic activity restart, the economy is expected to resume growth in the fourth quarter and return to the level before the Delta variant virus outbreak in the second half of next year.