Australia: Labor market remains robust in January, supported by part-time employment growth
Seasonally-adjusted employment increased by 16,000 jobs in January compared to the prior month, down from the previous month’s revised increase of 33,500 (previously reported: +34,700) but still overshooting market analysts’ expectations for a 15,000 gain. The rise was driven by an increase of 65,900 jobs in part-time employment, which outweighed a decrease in full-time employment of 49,800.
The labor market participation rate, as expected by market analysts, was marginally lower in January, inching down from December’s multi-year high of 65.7% to 65.6%. This, coupled with employment growth, led the unemployment rate to edge down from a revised 5.6% in December (previously reported: 5.5%) to 5.5% in January. All in all, despite the slightly lower unemployment rate, it appears that after a strong year in 2017, Australia’s robust labor market eased in January.