The number of unemployed people decreased by 13 thousand to 109 thousand, mainly reflecting 11 thousand fewer unemployed youth (15–24-year-olds), and employment rose by 29 thousand to 2.66 million. The employment rate rose to 68.3 percent in the September quarter (vs 67.8 percent in Q2), the highest recorded rate since the series began in 1986. The labor force participation rate increased to 71.1 percent in the third quarter from 70.9 percent in the previous period.
For women, the unemployment rate fell to 4 percent, down from 4.6 percent last quarter. For men, the unemployment rate declined to 3.9 percent, down from 4.2 percent.
The underutilisation rate dropped to 11.3 percent from 12 percent last quarter.
Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labor cost index, eased to 1.8 percent in the third quarter of 2018 from 1.9 percent in the previous period, as private sector wage growth slowed to 1.9 percent from 2.1 percent. Meanwhile, public sector wages rose 1.5 percent in the September quarter, slightly faster than a 1.4 percent increase in the previous three-month period. On a quarterly basis, wages increased by 0.5 percent, the same pace as in the previous quarter.