Australia's unemployment in September may have gone down to 5.6 per cent from 5.8 per cent in August, but the drop was not a reflection of the change in federal leaders or an improvement in the economy.
Rather, it is the result of less Australians seeking to find jobs and more of them dropping from the labor force.
Only 9,100 new jobs were created in September, but in the same month, labor participation rate dipped for the first time in seven years to below 65 per cent. The rate is a measure of the proportion of Australians aged 15 and above who are employed and those capable of working but can't find a job.
That translates into the total number of Aussies actively seeking jobs went down to 697,000, while 5,000 were added to the 8.1 million employed full-time and another 4,100 to the 3.5 million in part-time jobs.
Labor experts said the unemployment rate would have been higher if the labour participation rate was not plummeting.
TD Securities head of research Annette Beacher, quoted by the Herald Sun, said, "Our research (has) demonstrated that had the participation rate remained at the end-2011 level of 55.5 per cent ... the unemployment rate would be a staggering 6.6 per cent by now."
The numbers went against economists' expectations of stronger job expansion in September to 15,000 positions because of the consumer and business confidence in the Australian economy and satisfaction with post-federal election results.
The worst is yet to come and Australians should brace for the country's joblessness rate to go beyond 6 per cent in early 2014 as job expansion in the non-resource sectors fail to keep up with the tail end of the mining boom starting to be felt across the country.