Australia’s December jobs report is about to be released.
After surging by more than 60,000 in November, another solid increase in employment is expected today, rounding off what was a stellar year for the Australian labour market.
Here’s the state of play.
- In November, employment jumped by 61,600, the largest monthly increase since October 2015.
- October’s employment change, originally reported as an increase of 3,700, was also revised up to show a gain of 7,800.
- Full-time employment jumped by 41,900, outpacing a 19,700 increase in part-time employment.
- Over the year, full-time employment increased by 304,600, outpacing a 78,700 increase in part-time employment. Combined, total employment increased by a mammoth 383,300, the second-fastest annual increase on record.
- Reflecting the large lift in full-time employment over the month, total hours worked increased by 9.8 million hours, or 0.6%, to 1.7409 billion hours.
- Despite the hiring surge, unemployment held steady at 5.4% due to an increase in labour force participation which jumped 0.3 percentage points to 65.5%, leaving it at the highest level since September 2011.
- With more Australians entering the labour market, the total number of unemployed increased despite strong employment growth, rising by 4,100 to 707,700.
- Hinting that wage pressures may slowly start to build, quarterly rates of underemployment and underutilisation fell by 0.2% and 0.3% respectively, leaving them at fresh multi-year lows.
- Today, economists expect employment to increase for a 15th consecutive month, albeit at a slower pace.
- The median forecast looks for an increase of 15,000. Individual forecasts range from an increase of 40,000 to a decline of 10,000.
- With the participation rate expected to hold at 65.5%, the modest increase in employment is expected to leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.4%.
- In the absence of quarterly underemployment and underutilisation figures in the December report, markets will likely look to the split between full and part-time employment, total hours worked and the unemployment rate to garner whether further labour market slack was eaten up in final month of the year.
The report will be released at 11.30am AEDT.
Business Insider will have all of the facts and figures, along with the implications, as soon as it hits the screens.