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Unemployment rate drops to four per cent

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The unemployment rate fell to four per cent in February, its lowest level in more than 13 years.

That compares with 4.2 per cent in January.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said 77,400 people joined the workforce in the month, a stronger result than had been expected by economists.

Full-time employment surged by 121,900, while part-time workers fell by 44,500.

“This is the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008 and only the third time in the history of the monthly survey when unemployment was as low as 4.0 per cent,” ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said.

He said lower rates occurred in the data series before November 1974, when the jobs survey was conducted on a quarterly basis.

“The 3.8 per cent unemployment rate for women was the lowest since May 1974,” he said.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for men fell to 4.2 per cent, its second lowest level since November 2008.

The participation rate of those in work or seeking employment rose by 0.2 percentage points to 66.4 per cent, an all-time high.

The Reserve Bank of Australia and Treasury are each predicting a sub-four per cent unemployment rate this year, and remaining there in 2023, as the economy makes a steep recovery from the downturns seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

– AAP

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