Australia’s November jobs report is about to be released.
It’s the last major economic data release in Australia for the year, and it promises to be a doozy.
Not only will we receive monthly employment and unemployment figures, but also quarterly readings on underemployment and underutilitsation — two areas that everyone is watching closely given the implications for wage growth.
After shooting the lights out since the beginning of the year, and with all leading indicators pointing in the right direction, economists expect another solid increase in employment today, topping off what has been a strong 2017 for the Australian labour market.
Here’s the state of play.
- In October, employment growth slowed sharply, recording the weakest increase since late 2016.
- Employment grew by 3,700, missing expectations for an increase of 18,000. Full-time employment increased by 24,300, offsetting a 20,700 decrease in part-time employment.
- Total hours worked rose by 4.6 million hours, or 0.3%, to 1.7237 billion hours.
- Over the year, full-time employment increased by 297,900, overshadowing a 57,800 gain in part-time workers. Combined, employment increased by 355,700, or 3%.
- Total employment stood at 12.2971 million, the highest level on record.
- Employment has now increased for 13 consecutive months, the longest consecutive streak since July 1994.
- The unemployment rate fell to 5.4% — the lowest level since January 2013 — thanks largely to a drop in labour market participation which fell from 65.2% to 65.1%.
- Total unemployment fell to 701,500, the lowest level since September 2013.
- Today, economists expect employment growth to accelerate sharply with the median forecast looking for an increase of 19,000. Individual forecasts range from a gain of anywhere between 5,000 to 30,000.
- With labour force participation tipped to remain steady at 65.1%, the national unemployment rate is expected to hold at 5.4%.
- Along with the monthly employment and unemployment data, the ABS will also release quarterly underemployment and underutilisation rates — two figures that will be watched closely given the implications for wage pressures.
- When last released in August, underemployment — largely capturing those who are in employment but who would like to work more hours — fell 0.2 percentage points to 8.6%, pulling back from the record high of 8.9% struck in February this year.
- Labour market underutilisation — capturing both unemployed and underemployed Australians — fell 0.2 percentage points to 14.1%.
- Further declines in both underemployment and underutilisation will confirm that labour market conditions are tightening, helping to bolster confidence that wage pressures will likely build next year.
Along with those figures, market movements will likely be driven by the headline unemployment rate, the split between full-time and part-time hiring, along with changes in total hours worked.
The report will be released at 11.30am AEST.
Business Insider will have all of the details as soon as the data drops.