Australia’s unemployment rate has dropped sharply from 5.5 to 5.1 per cent, below pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated 115,200 jobs created in May.
Full-time employment increased by 97,500 in May, while part-time employment rose by 17,700.
This increase is for the first time since Australia’s borders were shut and mass lockdowns began.
Bjorn Jarvis, the head of labour statistics at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), said the unemployment rate was now lower than it was in March 2020.
“”The unemployment rate fell to 5.1 per cent, which was below March 2020 (5.3 per cent) and back to the level in February 2020 (5.1 per cent). The declining unemployment rate continues to align with the strong increases in job vacancies”
The number of unemployed people fell by 53,000 in May, down to 701,000.
According to a research conducted by the Commonwealth Bank, Australia had already lost close to 300,000 short-term migrant workers in the year to March.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said Australia has recovered better than any other advanced economy in the world.
“We saw Australia ahead of any advanced economy in the world see its economy bigger than it was going into the pandemic. Australians know we are still in the middle of a once in a century pandemic. There is a long way to go. But the Australian economy is recovering strongly.”
The Morrison government has hinted that Australia will remain closed for another year.