Jobs boom rolls on as unemployment stays steady

Jobs boom rolls on as unemployment stays steady

Australian employment data for August comfortably beat expectations, with 44,000 jobs added in seasonally adjusted terms against a forecast gain of 18,000.

According to the ABS, unemployment remained unchanged in August despite a surge in full-time jobs.

Even so, the weak wage growth has so far not been a deterrent to economy-wide spending as the unemployment rate has steadily fallen.

The rustbelt state of South Australia shed the most positions, down 8,400; unemployment rose the most in the mining hub of Western Australia, to 6.4 per cent from 6 per cent. The unemployment rate among 15 - 24 year olds has declined to 11.2%, from 12.4% at the beginning of the year, with the decline particularly impressive since it has coincided with a sizable increase in participation.

Annual jobs growth of 2.5 percent was well ahead of the US pace of job creation of 1.6 percent. This is somewhat disappointing because over the same period employment rose by 2.5%.

Employment increased 44,000 to 12,631,300. The strength was because of a sharp increase in full-time jobs, while part-time jobs rose 10.2k. The number of unemployed persons looking for full-time work decreased 7,500 to 494,800 and the number of unemployed persons only looking for part-time work increased 13,200 to 214,000.

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The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.3%.

Participation rate remained steady at 65.6%.

Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 0.6 million hours (0.03%) to 1,750.9 million hours.

The underutilisation rate dipped to 13.4% in August, from 13.9% in May, and is now at its lowest level since May 2013. The underutilisation rate, which includes not just those who are unemployed but also employed people seeking more hours, is regarded as the best measure of labour market conditions in Australia.

The data provided only a brief fillip to the Australian dollar as an increase in the official cash rate to 1.75 percent is still seen as a distant prospect.

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