The Morrison Government welcomes the ABS labour force figures released today exceeding market expectations in February 2020, with employment increasing by 26,700 over the month, to stand at a record high, of more than 13 million.

Over the year to February 2020, employment has risen by 256,300 (or 2.0 per cent), above the decade average growth rate, of 1.8 per cent.

Whilst these figures do not reflect the economic impact of the spread of COVID-19, it shows the strength of Australia’s economy going into the international crisis.

Full-time employment increased by 6,700 over the month, to a record high of 8,884,600 in February 2020, and is now 144,300 (or 1.7 per cent) higher than it was a year ago.

Full-time employment has comprised 56.3 per cent of total employment growth over the last year.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points over the month, to 5.1 per cent in February 2020.

The Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, welcomed today’s positive figures noting that 1,538,400 jobs had been created since the Government came to office, an increase of 13.4 per cent.

The Minister cautioned, however, that COVID-19 is likely to have a substantial impact on global and domestic economic growth, as well as labour market activity, going forward.

“In order to help protect both the health and jobs of all Australians, the Morrison Government has moved quickly to put in place scalable and sustainable measures to help cushion the negative impact of the coronavirus,” she said.

“Last week, we announced the first step in the recovery with a $17.6 billion economic stimulus package to help boost investment and confidence, strengthen the economy, keep businesses operating and support Australian jobs.”

“We do not underestimate the significant challenges resulting from COVID-19 that lie ahead. This is why the Government stands ready to enact further measures to help strengthen the safety net, bolster the economy’s defences and protect Australian businesses and jobs.”

The Federal Government will continue to work collaboratively with the experts and our State and Territory counterparts, in order to respond decisively and effectively to the health and economic challenges that confront us during this pandemic