Australia’s unemployment rate falls to 4.6%, lowest since 2008

19 Aug 2021

The unemployment rate in Australia slid to 4.6% in July with the addition of 2,200 jobs. This follows June’s 4.9% rate and surpasses market forecasts of 5% unemployment.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ seasonally adjusted jobs data revealed a drop in full-time employment of 4,200 people was countered by growth in part-time employment of 6,400. 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that although unemployment in Australia is at its lowest since 2008, coronavirus lockdowns are still impacting the economy.

"These are very difficult times for our economy, obviously millions are in lockdown, the economy's been hurt, and you've also got loss of life as well so it is a pretty sombre time for the nation," Frydenberg told Sky News Australia.

"That being said the economy has an amazing resilience, and the fundamentals are strong and the unemployment rate today falling to 4.6% from 4.9% substantially beat the median market expectations - it's the lowest level in 12 years. 

"It does show that our economic support payments are working. We know that the COVID-19 disaster payment is being paid to 1.4 million people and more than $3.1 billion is already out the door."

He went on to say that these latest figures show why Australians can be positive about the future: "The message out of today is while we are not celebrating the unemployment rate coming down to 4.6%, it is a reminder why people can have confidence and hope about the future.

"And coupled with the strong momentum in the vaccination rollout, we can be confident. As restrictions ease, our economy bounces back; that is the experience in the past over the course of this pandemic and that will be the experience in the future as we come out of those restrictions."