Australia’s October jobs report is about to be released.
As opposed to wage growth which remains rather appalling, employment growth has been nothing short of stellar in recent months, seeing unemployment dip to multi-year lows despite a noticeable lift in the number of Australians participating in the labour market.
Economists expect that trend to continue today, forecasting another healthy increase in employment on the back of continued strengthening in labour market indicators.
Here’s the state of play.
- In September, employment rose by 19,800, topping forecasts for an increase of 15,000.
- Full-time employment rose by 6,100, outpaced by a 13,700 increase in part-time workers.
- The increase left total employment at 12,290,200, the highest level on record.
- Reflecting the lift in employment, the number of hours worked rose by 0.7%, or 11.2 million hours, to 1.7182 billion hours.
- Employment has increased in each of the past 12 months, adding 371,500 workers in the process. 316,000 people found full-time employment, overshadowing a smaller increase of 55,500 in part-time employment.
- The current stretch of gains is the longest since July 1994.
- In the past seven months alone, 273,000 people have found employment.
- With employment rising solidly and the participation rate holding steady at 65.2%, the national unemployment rate fell to 5.5%, leaving it at the lowest level since February 2013.
- Helping to explain why the unemployment rate has not fallen further despite strong levels of hiring over the past year, labour force participation jumped by 366,000, or 2.9%, to 13 million over the same period.
- The unemployment rate among men stood at 5.4%, marginally below that for women at 5.5%. Both figures are the lowest they’ve been since early 2013.
- Total unemployment fell to 711,500, the lowest level since October last year.
- Today, economists expect another strong increase in employment.
- Of the 19 polled by Bloomberg, the median forecast looks for an increase of 18,000. Individual forecasts range from a drop of 10,000 to an increase of 30,000.
- Both the unemployment and participation rates are tipped to hold at 5.5% and 56.2% respectively.
- In the absence of quarterly underemployment and underutilisation figures in today’s report — a gauge on the degree of spare capacity that exists within the labour market and is influential on wage growth — 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 during October.
- Given underlying hourly wage growth likely fell to record-low levels in the September quarter, markets will want to see evidence that labour market conditions are tightening in order to appease concerns that wage growth may not have bottomed.
- Following the unbelievable run of employment growth recently, and well-documented volatility in the ABS’ seasonally adjusted figures, there’s also a growing risk that we may receive a jobs report that comes in under market expectations. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a downside miss.
The report will be released at 11.30am AEST.
Business Insider will have all of the details once it hits the screens.