Small Area Labour Markets: December quarter 2023 data now available

Distribution of SA2s by unemployment rate

Our latest Small Area Labour Markets (SALM) estimates show more than three-quarters (78.4%) of Statistical Area Level 2s (SA2s) across Australia recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5%, while just 3.3% of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of 10% or more.

The number of SA2s with an unemployment rate of less than 5% increased from 1,574 to 1,601 over the year to the December quarter 2023. At the same time, the number of SA2s with an unemployment rate of 10% or more fell from 79 to 68.

Around half (50.1%) of SA2s recorded a decrease in their smoothed unemployment rate over the year to the December quarter 2023. This is significantly lower than the 91.0% recorded over the year to the December quarter 2022 and is consistent with the slowing in labour market conditions during 2023.

SALM presents estimates of unemployment and the unemployment rate at the SA2 and Local Government Area (LGA) levels.

Jobs and Skills Australia recommends that SALM users review the ‘smoothed’ SALM data, which are created by applying a four-quarter average to ‘unsmoothed’ SALM data. While the smoothed data will lag actual changes in labour market conditions, they also reduce the high level of statistical variability inherent in small area estimates.