CANBERRA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has on Thursday welcomed fresh statistics which show full-time employment in Australia has increased for the 11th straight month, something she attributed to the government's "comprehensive economic plan".
On Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its latest employment data, showing that a further 22,000 gained full-time employment in August, while a further 6,000 people gained part-time employment.
According to ABS's chief economist, Bruce Hockman, an increase in full-time jobs had been the strongest proponent behind overall employment growth over the last year.
"Full-time employment has now increased by around 253,000 persons since August 2016, and makes up the majority of the 307,000-person increase in employment over the period," Hockman said in a statement on Thursday.
In a separate media release, also published on Thursday, Michaelia Cash said that employment remains at record high levels.
"ABS Labour force figures for August show employment has increased for the eleventh consecutive month, demonstrating the underlying strength in the labour market and highlighting the success of the (federal) government's comprehensive economic plan," Cash said.
But while the government has been quick to laud the release of the statistics, Hockman said underemployment remained at "historically high" levels for the third-consecutive quarter.
"The underemployment rate is an important indicator of the spare capacity of workers in Australia, and it has remained at 8.7 percent, a historical high, for the third consecutive quarter," Hockman said.
The ABS release also showed that employment levels for both male and female workers were at record highs, with female employment increasing by 146,800 since the start of the year - something the government said was the largest increase in the first eight months of a calendar year on record.