A lift in the number of employed women is a positive in WA’s June jobs data, as unemployment hit its highest level since 1994.
A lift in the number of employed women is a positive in Western Australia’s June jobs data, as unemployment hit its highest level since 1994.
Unemployment was up 0.6 percentage points to be 8.7 per cent, seasonally adjusted, in WA.
That was the second highest level of any state, and above the national average of 7.4 per cent, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
But the number of people employed rose by about 22,000, about three quarters of them women.
The growth was dominated by part-time work, with full-time employment falling.
About 34,000 new part time jobs were created.
The simultaneous lift in unemployment and employment was supported by an increased participation rate, up 1.6 percentage points to 66.6 per cent.
That indicates Western Australians are returning to the hunt for work after a couple of months on the sidelines during the pandemic shutdown.
Commsec chief economist Craig James was optimistic about the national data.
“The healing process is beginning, but no one said it was going to be easy,” Mr James said.
“In fact health authorities warned about virus outbreaks and ‘hot spots’ as state and territory economies reopened.
“The aim is to keep the virus suppressed rather than aim for elimination, as there always is a balance of health and economics.
“The lift in jobs in June reflects the reopening of businesses as they move out of hibernation.
“It will be important to keep the virus (contained) so that more workplaces can reopen, more people get work, and there is a progression to relative normalcy.
“We shouldn’t get too hung up on historical job market comparisons.
“The current situation is different to past recessions, being a health emergency rather than an economic emergency.
“The quick recovery of economies is dependent on a vaccine being found rather than a central bank rate cut or government tax or spending measure.
“Understandably the published unemployment rate may understate the true rate but that is why JobKeeper was devised – to ensure people remain connected to their workplace.”