The number of unemployed people decreased by 7 thousand to 109 thousand, driven by 4 thousand fewer unemployed men. For men, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, down from 3.9 percent last quarter. This was the lowest unemployment rate for men since the first quarter of 2008, when it was also 3.6 percent. For women, the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, down from 4.4 percent last quarter.
There were 21,000 more employed people in the second quarter, up to 2.68 million – 13,000 more women, and 8,000 more men. The employment rate increased to 67.7 percent in the second quarter of 2019 (vs 67.5 percent in Q1). The employment rate for men inched up to 72.4 percent from 72.3 percent last quarter. For women, the employment rate rose to 63.1 percent from 62.9 percent.
The labour force participation rate remained unchanged at 70.4 percent in the June quarter, compared to market expectations of 70.5 percent.
The underutilisation rate declined to 11.0 percent from 11.3 percent in the previous period. It was the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2008.
Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labor cost index, increased to 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019 from 2.0 percent in the prior period. Public sector wages advanced 2.2 percent, higher than a 1.9 percent gain in the previous quarter; and private sector wages rose 2.2 percent, up from 2.0 percent in the previous quarter. On a quarterly basis, wages increased by 0.7 percent, up from a 0.4 percent rise in the previous period.