The jobless rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 5.1 percent in May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday – well below expectations for 5.5 percent, which would have been unchanged from the April reading.
The Australian economy added 115,200 jobs last month to 13,125,100, blowing away forecasts for an increase of 30,000 following the loss of 30,600 in the previous month.
Full-time employment gained 97,500 jobs in May after adding 33,800 in April. Part-time employment gained 17,700 after shedding 64,400 jobs in the previous month.
The participation rate was 66.2 percent, exceeding expectations for 66.1 percent and up from 66.0 percent a month earlier.
Unemployed people decreased by 53,000 to 701,100, while the youth unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percent to 10.7 percent.
Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 25.2 million hours (1.4 percent) to 1,814 million hours, while the underemployment rate decreased by 0.3 percent to 7.4 percent.
The unemployment rate was 1.9 percent lower than May 2020; over the year to May 2021, employment increased by 987,200 people (8.1 percent).