Australian unemployment rate drops state-by-state

By Emma Ryan
 — 1 minute read

Roy Morgan figures have revealed all six states recorded a drop in unemployment rates throughout April for the second consecutive month.

The group has released its latest employment series data, highlighting that the number of Australians who were jobless during the month sat at 1.3 million – or 9.0 per cent. 

This is down 332,000 people from the March figures and represents the lowest amount seen since pre-pandemic levels.


On a state-by-state basis, Victoria saw the lowest unemployment level in April at 7.9 per cent, down 1.9 percentage points from March.

This was followed by Western Australia at 8 per cent (down 6 percentage points), NSW at 9.7 per cent (down 0.5 percentage points), Queensland and South Australia at 9.7 per cent (down 4.9 percentage points and 1.3 percentage points, respectively), and Tasmania at 9.9 per cent (down 1.4 percentage points).

According to Roy Morgan, this marks the first time since November 2011 that all states have recorded an unemployment rate below 10 per cent.

Commenting off the back of the findings, Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said the results prove the end of the JobKeeper wage subsidy has had little impact on Australia’s employment market.

“Australia’s employment markets have powered through the end of the Federal Government’s $90 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy program with employment increasing by 542,000 in April to a new record high of 13,291,000 – up 420,000 on the employment numbers in early March 2020,” Ms Levine said.

“In April there were increases to full-time employment, up 129,000 to 8,534,000 and part-time employment, up 413,000 to 4,757,000. Part-time employment is now at a new record high while full-time employment is at its highest since February 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Despite the positive results, Ms Levine noted there’s still work to be done in boosting employment figures further across the board.

“Although there was a lot of good news in the April employment figures there is still a large cohort of 2.66 million Australians (18.3 per cent of the workforce) who are either unemployed or under-employed. This under-utilised cohort is 500,000 higher than pre-pandemic when there were 2.16 million Australians unemployed or under-employed (15.6 per cent of the workforce),” she explained.

“A big driver of this increase is the higher participation rate today than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now 69.1 per cent of Australians aged 14+ are in the workforce (14,598,000) and are either employed (13,291,000) or unemployed (1,307,000) compared to 67.1 per cent in the workforce (14,087,000) a year ago in February 2020 when there were 12,913,000 employed and 1,174,000 unemployed Australians.

“Compared to the employment market pre-pandemic there is now a larger workforce which includes increases in both employment and unemployment as well as higher under-employment in an economy with a record amount of part-time employment.

“Overall, the economy has taken the ending of the JobKeeper wage subsidy in its stride and on [11 May] the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is set to deliver his third Federal Budget which will set the tone for the Government’s economic and policy priorities in the lead-up to the next Federal Election due either later this year or early in 2022.”



Stimulate new ideas. Stimulate new thinking. Top up your CPD and hear from industry experts with InvestorDaily’s Knowledge Centre. Keep up to date with the latest trends and reforms, all while adding to your CPD. Explore the knowledge centre Knowledge Centre now. 

Australian unemployment rate drops state-by-state
ID logo


related articles

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.