Small Area Labour Markets – December quarter 2021 data now available
The December quarter 2021 Small Area Labour Markets (SALM) estimates are now available. SALM presents estimates of unemployment and the unemployment rate at the Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) and Local Government Area (LGA) levels.
The December quarter estimates show that 60% of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5% in the December quarter 2021, up from 40% in the December quarter 2020. The Australian Capital Territory (71%) had the highest proportion of SA2s with an unemployment rate less than 5%, while Queensland had the lowest (52%).
SA2s with an unemployment rate below 5% - December quarter 2021
In addition, the data show that SA2s outside of capital cities were less likely to have an unemployment rate of less than 5% than those in capital cities (62% compared with 58%). This disparity was most evident in Victoria, with 56% of Melbourne SA2s recording an unemployment rate of less than 5%, compared with 80% in the rest of Victoria.
The NSC recommends that SALM users review the ‘smoothed’ SALM data which are created by applying a four-quarter average to ‘unsmoothed’ SALM data. While the smoothed data will lag actual changes in labour market conditions, it also reduces the high level of statistical variability inherent in small area estimates which may be exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.