Australia’s September jobs report is about to be released.
After six months of strong employment growth, and with all leading labour market indicators pointing to further gains to come, economists expect another solid increase today.
However, after such a stellar run, and given the wild swings seen in the ABS’ seasonally figures, the risk of an outlier result has clearly grown in recent months.
While that doesn’t mean such an outcome will arrive today, it’s something to consider given how unusually strong the data has been since March.
Here’s the state of play.
- In August, employment jumped by 54,200, well above expectations for an increase of 15,000.
- It left total employment at 12.269 million, the highest level on record.
- Within the monthly total, full-time employment soared by 40,100, outpacing a 14,100 increase in part-time workers.
- Combined, the August increase took employment growth over the past six months to 251,000, the largest increase over a comparable period since July 2000.
- More than 200,000 of those were full-time workers.
- Employment has now increased in each of the past 11 months, the longest stretch of consecutive gains in over six years.
- In line with the strong increase in full-time employment, total hours worked rose by 6.1 million hours to 1.7054 billion hours.
- Despite the strong increase in employment, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.6%, largely reflecting an increase in labour force participation which rose 0.2 percentage point to 65.3%, the highest level since May 2012.
- Improving employment conditions appear to be drawing back Australians to the labour market, keeping unemployment levels relatively steady despite strong jobs growth.
- Today, economists expect employment growth to slow with the median forecast looking for an increase of 15,000. Individual forecasts range from a decline of 10,000 to an increase of 32,000.
- It’s been somewhat of a rarity to see negative forecasts recently, underlining the growing risk of a rogue result.
- With employment growth expected to slow and labour force participation seen falling 0.1 percentage point to 65.2%, the unemployment rate is tipped to remain at 5.6%.
- Given 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 which 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 progress has been on that front during September.
The ABS will release the report at 11.30am AEDT.
Business Insider will have all of the details once it hits the screens.