But the unemployment rate has reached its lowest level in almost half a century at 3.5 per cent. And it’s likely to get below 3 per cent with almost half a million job vacancies still to fill.
While we do see the economy slowing below trend in 2023 and 2024 as rates bite, we at ANZ Research are quite positive about the near-term outlook. The very strong labour market means it’s hard to see a sharp deterioration in the Australian economy any time soon.
Participation – which measures those people who are employed or available to work and actively looking for a job - is at a record high. Women have been the main driver of this with female participation picking up really strongly during the pandemic recovery.
We think one of the reasons for that is lower barriers to finding employment, particularly for women with young children. The shift to remote working and more flexible arrangements is actually enabling more women in particular to work.
Employment change by family member and gender