Australia: Labor market continues to create jobs in February
March 21, 2019
Seasonally-adjusted employment increased by 4,600 in February from the previous month, following the revised 38,300 jobs added in January (previously reported: +39,100 jobs) but undershooting analysts’ expectations of a gain of 14,000. February’s reading was driven by a rise in part-time workers which more than offset a decline in full-time workers.
Seasonally-adjusted unemployment inched down to 4.9% in February from January’s 5.0%, the lowest reading in over seven years. However, February saw a slight decrease in the seasonally-adjusted participation rate, which inched down from 65.7% in January to 65.6%. Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted underemployment rate remained unchanged at the previous month’s 8.1% in February.
Markets reacted by driving the Australian dollar up, sustained by higher expectations that, due to the continuous strong labor data, the Reserve Bank of Australia won’t cut interest rates any time soon.
Australia Unemployment Rate Forecast
FocusEconomics panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.2% in 2019, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 5.1% in 2020.