Australia: Despite sustained job creation, unemployment rate hits one-year high in August
September 19, 2019
Seasonally-adjusted employment rose by 34,700 in August, following a revised 36,400 job addition in July (previously reported: +41,100). August’s result came in above the expectations of most market analysts and was driven by a jump in part-time employment, while full-time jobs were shed.
Seasonally-adjusted unemployment inched up to a one-year high of 5.3% in August, from 5.2% in July as higher employment was more than offset by an increasing supply of labor. As such, the seasonally-adjusted participation rate ticked up to a fresh all-time high of 66.2%. Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted underemployment rate rose to 8.6% in August, from 8.5% in July.
August’s labor market data drove the Aussie dollar down to a two-week low as it reinforced expectations that the Reserve Bank of Australia will likely resume its monetary policy easing cycle at its next meeting in October, as labor market slack continues to put downward pressure on wages and inflation.