ABS says 71,400 jobs were created in November, 41,000 were full-time roles.

Posted: 15th Dec

The official unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point in more than 18 months, dropping slightly to 5.8 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in November.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show 71,400 jobs were created in November, 41,000 of which were full time.

The figures bucked the forecasts, with a Bloomberg survey of economists showing most predicted the jobless rate would rise to 6 per cent.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the figures as "something to be very pleased about".

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash praised the drop in the unemployment rate, which came 11 months after a high of 6.4 per cent in January.

Senator Cash also welcomed the latest boost in the participation rate.

"What it says is that we have encouraged workers," she said.

"Australians are putting their hands up and saying, 'we want to work'."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also welcomed the drop in the unemployment rate, but said a lot of work remained.

"There's a lot of Australians, and it's important to remember this Christmas, who aren't sharing all equally in the Australian dream," he said. "And it's important that as this society hits 2016 that in our pursuit of growth we don't forget fairness as well."

In Queensland, the unemployment rate fell from 6.1 per cent to 5.9 per cent.

It fell from 5.5 to 5.2 per cent in New South Wales, from 4.4 to 4.3 per cent in the Northern Territory, and in South Australia it dropped from 7.6 to 7.3 per cent.

In Victoria the unemployment rate rose from 5.6 to 6.2 per cent, while in Tasmania it rose from 6.5 to 6.6 per cent.

Western Australia also saw a rise in the jobless rate, which rose from 6.4 to 6.6 per cent.

Senator Cash said the figures were concerning, but the participation rate for WA remained above the national average.

"Western Australians are still encouraged," she said.


12th December 2015 - Stephanie Anderson - ABC News