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Australia’s unemployment rate falls to 4%

Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to the equal-lowest level in recorded history as the monthly working hours in all jobs rebounded after the Omicron-triggered Covid-19 wave of absences in January, according to official data published on Thursday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) published the labour force data for February, revealing that the unemployment rate fell from 4.2 percent in January to 4.0 percent, reports Xinhua news agency.

It equals August 2008 as the lowest figure since ABS data began in 1978.

According to the ABS, the number of employed Australians increased by about 77,000 between January and February.

The total number of hours worked by Australians increased by 8.9 percent in February after a large fall of 8.6 percent amid the Omicron wave in January.

The underemployment rate, which measures the portion of the labour force working fewer hours than they would like, fell to 6.6 percent.

However, the ABS noted that the number of people working reduced hours due to illness or sick leave remained higher than usual.

“The number of employed people working no hours over the entire week due to illness or sick leave was around 80 percent higher than what we would usually see in February, having been around triple the usual level in January,” head of labor statistics Bjorn Jarvis said in a statement.

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