Australian States And Territories With The Highest Rates Of Unemployment

Tasmania has the highest unemployment rate in Australia while Australian Capital Territory has the lowest.


The Economy of Australia

Australia is a mixed market economy and in 2015 it was ranked as one of the world’s largest economies and had a GDP of AUD$1.62 trillion. In 2013, the country’s total wealth was AUD$6.4 trillion and in 2012, Australia was the 12th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the 17th world’s largest economy by PPP GDP, which accounted for 1.7% of the world economy. The country is the 19th largest importing country in the world and 19th largest exporter as well. The service sector dominates the Australian economy contributing 68% of the country’s GDP. The mining sector accounts for 7% of the total GDP and Australia’s economic growth is largely attributed to the mining sector and agriculture. Most of the country’s exports are destined to the East Asian markets. Although the mining sector has been experiencing decline in the recent past, the country’s economy has remained stable. From 1901 to 2000, the country’s GDP growth rate has averaged 3.4% annually.

The biggest employment generating Sectors in Australia

In 2011, Health Care and Social Assistance employed greater portion of the country’s workforce of 11.6% or 1,167,573 people followed by Retail Trade which had 10.5% or 1,057,230 people. Manufacturing sector was third employing 9.0% of the total workforce or 902,818 people, though manufacturing in Australia has been declining, for instance in the 1960s, it contributes 30% of GDP falling to 12% of GDP in 2012. Service industry is a major player in the economy of Australia and therefore the biggest employment generating sector. The country’s big four banks are among the top 50 safest banks in the world as of April 2012. From 1991 to 2013 there were about 36,720 mergers and acquisitions in the country amounting to US$2,040 billion. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations of Australia defines Jobs relating to IT such as computer systems design and engineering as professional Scientific and technology services. Most job creations in the IT are primary found in the state capital and other cities of Australia.

Unemployment Rates in the Country

The rates of unemployment in Australia have been averaging 6.92% from 1978 to 2016 and in 1992 was an all time high reaching 11.10%. In 2008 the country experienced the lowest levels of unemployment of 4%. In 2013 the state of Tasmania had the highest rates of unemployment of 8.3% followed by South Australia with 6.8%, while Queensland had 6.0%. New South Wales, Victoria, New Territory, Western Australia, and Australian Capital Territory had 5.9%, 5.7%, 5.5%, 5.0%, and 3.7% respectively.

Reasons of Unemployment

There are different reasons for the unemployment that has been experienced in Australia which include the cyclical weak demand for labor which led to employment growing slowly compared to the supply of labor. There was also the structural influence that affected the efficiency of matching the unemployed workers with the available or vacant jobs. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the growth in employment has not kept pace with the growth of the laborforce and therefore the share of the unemployed of the laborforce has been disproportionately increasing.

Measures adopted to Solve unemployment

Australia like many other developed countries is working on supporting economic growth by improving labor market. The Australian government has implemented policies aimed at increasing the country’s growth potential and creating an environment that will generate approximately two million jobs over the next ten years. The government recognizes the role played by the private sector in creating employment and driving economic growth and therefore the policies are aimed on improving opportunities for businesses, which include strengthening their ability to compete in global markets.

RankStatesUnemployment rate (ABS, August 2013)
1 Tasmania8.3%
2 South Australia6.8%
3 Queensland6.0%
4 New South Wales5.9%
5 Victoria5.7%
6 Northern Territory5.5%
7 Western Australia5.0%
8 Australian Capital Territory3.7%


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