Later this morning the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release its Australian jobs report for March. The highly-controversial and always entertaining release has disappointed of late with employment declining by 6,600 since November 2015. Economists expect that trend to reverse today with strong growth in hiring expected.
Here’s the state of play.
- In February employment rose by 300 after seasonal adjustments, well below expectations for an increase of 12,000.
- Despite the weak job growth — not only in February but also December and January — employment still increased by 239,400 from 12 months earlier, representing a percentage increase of 2.06%.
- Full time employment increased by 15,900, offsetting a 15,600 decrease in part time workers.
- Despite the weak jobs growth, the national unemployment rate tumbled to 5.8%, below the 6.0% level expected.
- The estimated size of Australia’s labour force fell by 27,000 to 12.617 million, taking the participation rate to 64.9% from 65.1% in January.
- As a result of lower participation and flat employment growth, the number of unemployed persons fell by 27,300 to 732,600.
- Mirroring the decline in the headline unemployment rate, the nation’s underutilisation rate –- combining unemployed and underemployed persons –- fell 0.1% to 14.2%.
- In March, the median economist forecast is for employment to increase by 17,000. Participation is tipped to increase to 65.0% with the unemployment rate expected to rise 0.1% to 5.9%.
- The NAB — among the most bullish forecasters with a prediction that employment will increase by 40,000 — suggests that employment growth could be as high as 80-100k should the incoming survey rotation group have the same employment-to-population ratio as the existing seven groupings.
- Only once in the survey’s 38-year history — in November 1985 when it increased by 90,100 in seasonally adjusted terms — has employment increased by over 80,000 in any single month.
The ABS will release the March report at 11.30am AEST.
Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as the data drops.