Unemployed people across Australia will have to wait until April for the national unemployment rate to fall, the Bureau of Statistics (BIS) has announced.
The BIS said on Wednesday the national average unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent.
Unemployed workers have a chance to apply for unemployment benefit if they meet certain criteria, including being in employment for more than a month.
The unemployment rate is set by a formula that includes a number of factors, including people’s age, education and employment experience.
While unemployment has been trending downward since the summer, the ABS has predicted that the trend will reverse over the next three months.
This year the ABS expects unemployment to fall to 5.6 per cent in January and 5.7 per cent by the end of April.
This is a reduction from the previous forecast of 6.9 percentage points, according to the bureau.
“There will be a slight increase in the number of unemployed persons who will receive benefits, but the overall number of persons receiving benefits will be fairly stable,” the ABS said in a statement.
“The unemployed will continue to receive benefits at the same rate as they did last year, and the overall level of unemployment will remain at a relatively low level.”
The unemployment rates are based on people’s actual job activity.
The ABS said the latest figures showed that Australia’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 5,611,000 people.
The rate for all workers is now 5.3 per cent, up from 5.2 per cent the previous month.