Australia: Unemployment rate rises less than expected in March ahead of containment measures
Seasonally-adjusted employment rose by 5,900 in March, following a revised 25,600 job addition in February (previously reported: +26,700). March’s result surprised on the upside market analysts who had expected a sizable 40,000 jobs reduction and was driven by an expansion in part-time employment more than offsetting a slight decrease in full-time employment. Figures for March are from before the introduction of major mobility restrictions to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate inched up to just 5.2% in March, from February’s 5.1%, against expectations for a jump to 5.5%. Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted underemployment rate ticked up from 8.6% in February to 8.7% in March, while the seasonally-adjusted participation rate was steady at 66.0% in the third month of 2020.