Australia: Labor market reports soft outturn in March, revised data shows employment shrank in February
April 19, 2018
Seasonally-adjusted employment increased by 4,900 in March compared to the prior month, contrasting the revised 6,300 jobs shed in February (previously reported: +17,500 jobs) but wildly undershooting analysts’ expectations of stronger job growth. March’s reading was driven by more part-time workers, which more than offset a decline in the number of full-time workers.
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate remained at 5.5% in March, while the trend participation rate ticked up to 65.7%--an all-time high. Measures of underemployment and labor underutilization remained fairly elevated, which suggests ongoing slack in the labor market and is likely partly behind stubbornly low wage growth.
Australia Unemployment Rate Forecast
FocusEconomics panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.4% in 2018 and 5.2% in 2019.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist