LABOUR force figures released this month by the ABS show that, despite the ongoing volatility and headwinds in the global economy, employment expanded solidly in November, increasing by 13,900 to stand at 11,546,400.

Part-time employment increased by 18,100 in November, partly offset by a 4,200 decline in full-time employment, following four consecutive monthly increases totaling 67,100.

The unemployment rate in Australia fell to 5.2 per cent in November, reflecting the solid employment results and a slight decline in the labour force participation rate, which ticked-down by 0.1 percentage points to stand at 65.1 per cent.

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, welcomed the stronger than expected employment result, highlighting that 843,800 jobs had been created since the Labor Government came to office five years ago.

“These are a very respectable set of numbers and some good jobs news heading into Christmas, but we cannot be complacent for a moment. This Labor Government’s impressive labour market record over the last five years does stand in stark contrast to the rest of the world, where millions of jobs have been lost,” Minister Shorten said.

Coalition Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey similarly welcomed the positive labour force figures, but warned several other recent data releases pointed to an ‘economy that is losing momentum’.

“Just on Tuesday, when the Reserve Bank lowered the cash rate for the sixth time in this easing cycle, it noted that: ‘Looking further ahead, with the labour market softening somewhat and unemployment edging higher, conditions are working to contain pressure on labour costs’,” Mr Hockey said.

“The Coalition has a plan to create a diverse five pillar powerhouse economy that can create one million new jobs over the next five years – and two million new jobs over the next decade.”