Australia: Unemployment rate reaches 11-year high in January
February 13, 2014
In January, the labor market lost 3,700 jobs compared to the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, which followed the 23,000 jobs lost in December (previously reported: 22,600 jobs lost). The print came as a surprise to the market as 15,000 new jobs were expected to have been created. The deterioration was mainly driven by a contraction in full-time positions (7,100 jobs lost), which did not succeed in offseting the improvement in part-time positions (3,400 jobs created).
Following the loss of jobs, the unemployment rate edged up from December's 5.8% to 6.0% in January as 16,600 people who were actively looking for jobs were unsuccessful in finding a job. The print marks the highest rate of unemployment since July 2003.
FocusEconomics panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.9% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. In 2015, the panel expects the unemployment rate to inch up to 5.7%.