Small Area Labour Markets: September quarter 2023 data now available

Distribution of SA2s by unemployment rate

Our latest Small Area Labour Markets (SALM) estimates show that the number of Statistical Area Level 2s (SA2s) with an unemployment rate of less than 5% increased, from 1,519 to 1,634 over the year to the September quarter 2023. At the same time, the number of SA2s with an unemployment rate of 10% or higher has fallen considerably (down from 102 to 65).

These results reflect further improvement in labour market conditions for the majority of SA2s and are consistent with the continued strength in Australia’s labour market that occurred over that period.

The data also show that around two-thirds of SA2s (or 66.9%) recorded a decrease in their unemployment rate over the year to the September quarter 2023. SA2s located in rest-of-state areas were more likely to record a fall in their unemployment rate over the year than those in capital cities (68.9% compared with 65.4%).

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, which may have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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