Australia: Jobs growth remains solid in February but unemployment rate rises
March 22, 2018
Seasonally-adjusted employment increased by 17,500 in February compared to the prior month, up from 12,500 jobs in January but slightly undershooting analysts’ expectations. February’s increase was driven by greater full-time employment offsetting a drop in part-time employment.
Despite more people finding work, the unemployment rate rose marginally in February to 5.6% from 5.5% in the prior month, as more people started looking for work in February, not all of whom were absorbed by the labor market—this is evidenced by an 8,900 rise in the number of unemployed people. Measures of underemployment and labor underutilization remained fairly high, which suggests ongoing slack in the labor market and likely goes some way to explaining persistently low wage growth.
Australia Unemployment Rate Forecast
FocusEconomics panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.3% in 2018 and 5.2% in 2019.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist