Unemployment stays at 5.8%

June 20th, 2014

The country's unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8 per cent in May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed, with the main issue at the moment being labour force underutilisation.

Figures show the seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate declined just 0.1 per cent last month to reach 64.6 per cent.

The number of people in employment declined slightly by 4,800, which was mainly due to a fall in the amount of part-time roles on offer.

However, the seasonally adjusted underemployment rate stood at 7.6 per cent for the month. When combined with the 5.8 per cent level of unemployment, the ABS revealed the total level of labour force underutilisation stood at 13.5 per cent in May.

This might encourage small business owners to take a look at their existing workforce to determine whether there are any more full-time positions that can be offered.

Underutilisation generally refers to a situation where people could take up full-time roles if they were available, but for whatever reason they're unable to access them.

It seems this isn't the only factor weighing on people's confidence at the moment, as findings from Roy Morgan Research show there are growing fears of job losses among the nation's workers.

The group's Gary Morgan commented: "When it comes to how secure employed Australians feel in their jobs, there is still a great majority who feel their present job is safe (74 per cent, unchanged).

"Even so, this is the equal lowest majority for 15 years since November 1999."

Almost half (49 per cent) of people in Australia think it would take them longer to find a new job if they were to suddenly find themselves unemployed. This is the equal highest since November 1992, when the country was in the middle of its last recession.

Not only this, 61 per cent of survey respondents said they expect unemployment to increase over the next 12 months, while only 18 per cent believe it will fall.

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