Minister for Employment Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said today’s release of the December labour force results confirms the underlying strength in the jobs market with full time employment standing at a record high of 8,228,700.

Minister Cash welcomed today’s announcement that the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8% highlighting the success of the Government’s economic credentials and its commitment to creating more jobs for all Australians.

Today’s data clearly reflects a steadily improving labour market and highlights the need to continue with the Coalition’s plan to strengthen the economy and stimulate further jobs growth.

Total employment increased by 301,300 over the 2015 calendar year, the largest rise recorded since the 2006 calendar year.

Encouragingly, female full-timeemployment also increased by a further 3,000 in December (following a surge of 49,400 in November), to stand at a record high of 2,970,500.

The youth unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points in December 2015, to stand at 12.1%, down from 14.2% in January 2015 and is now at the lowest level since July 2013. Over the same period the youth participation rate has increased from 66.8% to 68.1%.

Today’s figures demonstrate the positive sentiment we are seeing from consumers and the business community is translating into strong, steady jobs growth.

Despite today’s positive jobs figures, the Government remains acutely aware that there are 727,500 Australians who remain unemployed.

This underlines the necessity to implement the Coalition’s comprehensive economic plan to grow the economy and take advantage of the opportunities before us.

The Coalition Government will continue to focus on increasing workforce participation, investing in vital infrastructure, finalising and implementing historic free trade agreements and assisting the unemployed back into the workforce through the new jobactive employment services programme.