Australia: Unemployment rate rises at the outset of the year
February 20, 2020
Seasonally-adjusted employment rose by 13,500 in January, following a revised 28,700 job addition in December (previously reported: +28,900). January’s result beat market expectations of a 10,000 jobs addition and was driven by a strong expansion in full-time employment which more than offset a fall in part-time employment.
However, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in January, from December’s 10-month low of 5.1%. Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted underemployment rate increased from 8.3% in December to 8.6% in January, and the seasonally-adjusted participation rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 66.1% in the first month of 2020.
The release of the labor market figures knocked the Australian dollar, which hit an 11-year low as it bolstered expectations of a more expansionary monetary policy stance.