The holiday is over: Official unemployment rises

As expected, the official unemployment figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today showed a sharp rise in unemployment. According to the ABS, unemployment now sits at 5.4 per cent – a two and a half year high.

The key driver to the increase in the unemployment rate was a rise in the participation rate showing there are more people now participating in the job market.

Last week, we reported on comments from Roy Morgan suggesting the reason why unemployment was steady was due to retrenched employees taking holidays before attempting to re-enter the work force. It appears holidays could be over with more people trickling back into the job market and looking for work.

According to a Roy Morgan survey, unemployment sits closer to 10 per cent.

» Unemployment jumps on rising participation – The ABC, 11th October 2012.


  1. I should know, made redundant from a white collar job 8 weeks ago. Was actually thinking of purchasing a modest unit here in Adelaide in early 2013, as it is clear that many vendors are bleeding, which is now not going to happen. However, it could be much worse, as I have no debt and no children. Dred what would happen if I was paying a $2500 plus per month mortgage and raising a family, which I know some are around the country having to deal with now.

  2. I hear you bud, I reckon half the tax returns I’ve been preparing for the last six months, someone is either struggling financially, redundant, going backwards. The negative gearing strategies are totally wrong and getting worse. Yet Mr Swan believe the economy to be strong? Go figure.

  3. Greetings from Ireland,

    Lets face it, Australia has had a bloody good run for the past 15 years but now its time to pay the piper. 2013 is going to be the beginning of the end of the party in Oz. Anyone with half a brain can see whats coming. US/Europe into year 4 of recession = China slowdown = Mining slowdown = Investment slowdown = layoffs = budget cuts = retail down = tourism down = new housing starts down = pay squeeze = bank credit squeeze etc etc etc.

    Take some advice from someone who has lived through 3 recessions in 3 different countries. Get out of debt, live within your means, upskill and try and hold onto your job to get u through the coming turmoil.

    I’ve always found a good gauge of recession is when the topic of conversation at social gatherings changes from “how much my property has gone up in value” to “how i should have sold my property back in 2008/09 when i had the chance”.

    It’s every man/woman for themselves……..good luck!

  4. The unemployment rate would really need to spike for the ponzi to fall over.

    Currently Negatively Geared Propety Speculators have a captured market with many would be first home owners locked out of the market and forced to rent.

    If unemployment shoots up and tenants can’t pay rent for the ponzi properties then speculators should start dumping their IP’s.

  5. 5.4% unemployed – yet today they announce 10% living below the poverty line. Erm, did I miss a meeting, or do the maths not add up? They can’t both be right.

  6. Yeah the ABS unemployment rate is a load of codswallop. I’d like to know what the tipping point is for unemployment affecting the rental market?

  7. @ Rupert

    Australia is fast copying the USA, where the 1% will hold the vast amount of the wealth, while the rest are working poor.

    We are creating a country where slavery is alive and well.

    It mainly discriminates against those with debt.

  8. @Matty

    It also discriminates against those without debt. Savings are dwindling because of increasingly low interest rates; and in Europe and the USA, the currencies are being devalued thanks to ‘Quantitative Easing’ (money printing to you and me).

    It seems the solution is to save nothing and borrow nothing. Live within your means and be as self-sufficient as possible. The job crisis will get worse because of technology and global population growth which will in turn increase our energy, food and water bills.

    Until there is unanimous agreement around the world to tax the 1% much, much more – or face prison, nothing will change, and I fear your prophecy will come true.

  9. @Matty, it gets more juicy. There are people working 5 days per week, and receiving almost a full, sometimes a full CentreLink benefit.

    This is due to some/many working a job that pays between 1 to 1 1/2 days, yet people work 5 days at it (talk about anxious). I may write a big response about what a Mission Australia JobService Provider employee has been telling me. This stuff has been going on since the 2008/2009 financial year, and has been worsening from then.

    This is competing with African and Chinese workers by racing them to the bottom.

    I’m thinking that the economy hasn’t crashed. The world economy is being restructured. 1% super wealthy, 15% very rich, as for the rest, debt slaves. They’ll never know any better.

  10. @ Rupert

    “…. to tax the 1% much, much more ….”

    The issue is not that 1% per se. Some of them are legitimate owner of wealth due to their ingenuity, innovation and value-added to the economy as awhole. The issue lies on the fact that the arbitrator of the market, i.e. the Central Bank, simply ignore the rules of the game themselves, bailing out and saving certain industries / firms in favour of others. Not to mention, people in the top echelon of the banking industry that suppose to do “job of the God” as they like to call it …. milk the cow themselves …

    The most funny thing is that people still pay tax … while they can just press a button and hopla … the money goes in …..

    Don’t you think it is easier to setup a new “country” (just get the UN), buy a printing press and print “your” own currencies than to have unanimous agreeement around the world to tax the 1%? Singapore did it in 1965 ….. How many years have passed since then?

  11. @Yusuf

    There is no ‘legitimacy’ in earning hundreds of millions in a single year, no matter how ingenious and innovative the individuals and corporations are. The profits made on the back of screwing the rest of us should be put back into the rest of us either through taxation or philanthropy. Without either you will have a seriously dangerous, immoral, unstable and miserable world.

  12. Housing values need to take a sharp write-down so that we can begin the recovery. Allowing the problem to fester for 5,10, 20 years is only going to sap confidence across the board and make for a generation of sub-par growth. That’s not how economic cycles are supposed to work!

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