The Australian Bureau of Statistics has just released the January jobs data which showed that jobs fell in the month down “3,700 to 11,459,500 with fulltime employment dropping 7,100 to 7,953,000. Slightly offsetting the bad news was the fact that part time rose 3,400 to 3,506,500.
Clearly disappointing news for the economy as this follows last months big 23,000 fall last month and the more than 33,000 fall in full time employment that we saw in December.
Equally worrying is that the unemployment rate rose to 6% with 16,600 people joining the queue which is worse than the GFC peak of 5.9% and the worst result for a decade. Equally concerning is the Unemployment to population ratio (people looking for full time work) sits at 2.9 which is equal to the worst result of the GFC in June 2009.
The participation rate was unchanged at 64.5%
Australian employment looks like it is flattening out and even though the high of 11,486,000 Australians employed was only in November 2013, employment has been in the 11.4-11.5 million range for 14 months now.
As a result of this data the Aussie dollar, which was trading around 0.9030 before the data has dropped ~80 points to 0.8947 while interest rate futures have rallied strongly with the 3 year bond contract on the Sydney Futures exchange is up 7 points to 96.98 (3.02%).
For all the recent good news in the economy a weak labour market will keep the RBA on the sidelines for some time yet.