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Employment at record highs as women participation soars

People are taking advantage of the fact it’s a candidate’s market as the workforce reaches record highs.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), March saw employment climb by 31,700 people to a total of 13,883,100.

According to management, training, and recruitment firm ASPL’s chief executive, Kris Grant, women are taking advantage of this opportunity and entering the workforce.

ABS revealed that women workers increased by 81,000 over the past two months, and the female participation rate climbed to 62.5 per cent, a record high.

“Despite some slowing in job advertising from the very high levels seen in 2022, the jobs market remains very tight, and it is still something of an employees’ market, and women too are enjoying very strong jobs growth and are flocking to the workforce, with the female participation rate the highest ever at 62.5 per cent, a huge milestone for women in achieving economic independence,” said Ms Grant.

“The unemployment rate overall is sitting around the lowest that it has been since 1974, and underemployment is at a multi-decade low while the total level of employment has risen to a fresh record high in March.”

Full-time employment and part-time employment both rose in March. Full-time increased by 30,000 to 9,729,200 people, and part-time increased by 1,700 to 4,153,900 people. As of March, part-time employees made up 29.9 per cent of the workforce.

According to Ms Grant, this surge in jobs will benefit the economy as more people will have more money to spend.

Ms Grant continued: “Employees are finding jobs and additional hours of work when they need them; money is in their pocket and likely to stay there, which will support economic growth, despite higher interest rates.”

“We are not likely to see the large-scale layoffs that we are seeing in the US because Australian firms did not go on the huge hiring sprees that US firms did back in 2021.”

Coinciding with a larger talent market is bigger wages, said Ms Grant.

“Wages, too, are growing in response to a stronger labour market, and this is a welcome development. We are likely to see ongoing robust wages growth over the remainder of the year with skills shortages still evident in many parts of the economy,” she explained.

Ms Grant added: “Many employers will pay more money to attract talent, which is still in very scarce supply in several Australian industries, including in the healthcare and education sectors and in the technology industry.”

This article originally featured in HR Leader

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