Unemployment rates in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie reach record lows

The latest monthly unemployment rate in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie has plummeted to new depths.

Newcastle and Lake Macquarie unemployment rate fell from 2.5% in April to 1.7% in May.

The new data marks the lowest record since the Australian Bureau of Statistics series began 26 years ago in 1998, only ever dipping below 2% two other times.

Across the rest of the Hunter, the overall unemployment rate remained at 3.1%, staying well below rates recorded across the rest of NSW and Australia which fell from 4% to 3.7% from April to May.

Although the local population continues to grow across Newcastle and the Hunter the pool of unemployed people remained static at around 12,000.

Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes says, employment has reached noteworthy notable lows.

“Despite the volatility that can be displayed in the monthly figures, the employment circumstances in parts of the region are remarkable based on historical circumstances, suggesting the low monthly figures are part of a trend and not an aberration.”

“The low unemployment rates continue to be skewed by a sagging participation rate which masks a loss of positions across the month against a low unemployment rate,” Mr Hawes says.

“These figures still speak to a tight job market across the region. Businesses are continuing to feel the pain of not being able to fill vacant positions. We know the same goes for those trying to find employment. We have an employment stalemate in some sectors and areas.”