Australia: Unemployment rate unchanged in February despite strongest rise in new jobs since 2000
March 14, 2013
In February, the labour market added 71,500 jobs over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The figure was well ahead of the 13,100 increase recorded in January (previously reported: 10,400) and market expectations that had the economy adding 10,000 new jobs. The result marked, in fact, the biggest monthly gain in more than 12 years and was driven by a strong rise both in part-time jobs (+53,700) and in full-time positions (+17,800).
Meanwhile, the number of total job seekers rose by 400 persons in February (January: +800). Despite the spectacular gain in new positions and the subdued increase in the number of job seekers, the unemployment rate was unchanged at January's 5.4%, which was below the 5.5% expected by the market. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.5% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. Next year, the panel expects the unemployment rate to remain at 5.5%.