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Aussie jobless rate falls to 4pc, monthly working hours recover from Omicron wave

CANBERRA (XINHUA) – Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to the equal-lowest level in recorded history as the monthly working hours in all jobs rebounded after the COVID-19 Omicron wave of absences in January.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday published labour force data for February, revealing that the unemployment rate fell from 4.2 per cent in January to 4.0 per cent.

It equals to August 2008 as the lowest figure since ABS data began in 1978.

According to the ABS, the number of employed Australians increased by about 77,000 between January and February.

The total number of hours worked by Australians increased by 8.9 per cent in February after a large fall of 8.6 per cent amid the Omicron wave of COVID-19 infections in January.

The underemployment rate, which measures the portion of the labour force working fewer hours than they would like, fell to 6.6 per cent.

However, the ABS noted that the number of people working reduced hours due to illness or sick leave remained higher than usual.

“The number of employed people working no hours over the entire week due to illness or sick leave was around 80 per cent higher than what we would usually see in February, having been around triple the usual level in January,” head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said in a media release.

According to the ABS, the number of employed Australians increased by about 77,000 between January and February. PHOTO: AFP
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