Australia’s first jobs report of 2017 arrives later on this morning.
After topping expectations for two straight months, and with other labour market indicators also showing improvement, hopes are high for yet another reasonable result in January.
Here’s the state of play:
- In December, employment increased by 13,500, topping expectations for an increase of 10,000. It was the third consecutive month of positive jobs growth.
- The majority of the increase came from full time employment which rose by 9,300, outpacing a 4,200 gain in part time employment. Full time employment has risen for two straight months.
- Over the year, full time employment decreased by 34,000 workers, a far cry from the 125,500 increase seen in part time employment over the same period. Combined, total employment rose by 91,500 in 2016.
- In percentage terms, total employment increased by 0.8% from a year earlier, up from 0.7% in November, with a 3.4% lift in part time employment offsetting a 0.4% drop among full time workers.
- There are now 11.986 million in employment across the country, with 8.177 million employed full time and 3.809 million in part time employment.
- Despite the increase in employment in December, the national unemployment rate rose to 5.8% as the participation rate edged up to 64.7% from 64.6% in November. The unemployment rate currently sits at the highest level since January 2016.
- In January, economists expect another modest increase in employment with the median forecast centred around a gain of 10,000. Individual forecasts offered to Bloomberg range from a decline of 11,000 to a gain of 28,000.
- Both the participation and unemployment rates are tipped to remain unchanged at 64.7% and 5.8% respectively.
- With the RBA currently monitoring labour market slack, there’s likely to be some interest in the breakdown between full and part time employment, along with the number of hours worked.
- In the year to December, total hours worked increased by just 0.7%, driven almost entirely by a 4.4% lift in part time hours worked.
- Alternative labour market have strengthened over the past month, hinting that an improvement in the ABS figures may also be on the way.
- ANZ’s job ads survey registered the largest increase in over year while the employment measure in the NAB Australia business survey rose to a six-year high. Westpac’s Jobs Index also hit the highest level since May 2008.
The January report will be released at 11.30am AEDT.
Business Insider will have full analysis as soon as it hits the screens.
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