The Australian Bureau of Statistics just released the Labour Force data for November, and it was a big surprise to markets.
Employment beat expectations with 21,000 new jobs in November with a strong increase in the full-time component (which was up 15,500 while part time rose 5500).
Unemployment rose from 5.7% as expected, from last month’s 5.8%.
The participation rate stayed unchanged at 64.8
This is a solid number for the economy. But not unexpected, even though it was double the market’s estimates.
Earlier this morning Westpac released its December quarter survey of industrial trends with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
This showed overtime work had shot up, and the Westpac-ACCI labour market composite indicator had jumped from -7.8 in Q3 to +8.9 in Q4 2013.
This indicator predicts employment two quarters down the track.
There are now 11,659,000 Australians employed, just 0.64% lower than the all-time high a couple of months back.
So there is unequivocally good news for the economy in this data today.
And as the chart from Westpac and the ACCI shows, the chances of a continued improvement in the jobs markets looks likely into 2014.