WESTERN Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 5 per cent to 4.8 per cent between July and August, to its lowest since the 1970s. However, the decrease owed more to falling labour force participation than to employment growth. Employment rose by just 600 (0.1 per cent) between July and August, less than the 3,300 (0.2 per cent) increase in adult population. The participation rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 64.6 per cent, its lowest since 1993. Male participation has fallen particularly sharply in recent months, to a record low of 72.8 per cent in July and August.
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