The Australian jobs data is out for July, and it’s a big beat.
Seasonally adjusted, the economy added 26,200 jobs for the month. The market was expecting 10,000.
The unemployment rate also fell by 0.1 pts to 5.7%, better than the market expectation of 5.8%.
The increase was largely due to a huge surge in part-time employment, which increased 71,600 to 3,814,700. Full-time employment fell 45,400 to 8,153,900.
These numbers are a survey and for one month. So it’s unlikely the economy actually created 71,000 part time jobs and destroyed 45,400. But there is change afoot in Australia’s employment market and the ABS highlighted the continuation of what is becoming a huge trend to part time employment as the engine of jobs growth in Austalia.
“Since January 2016, part-time employment has increased by 101,200 persons, with increases in both male and female part-time employment of 56,300 and 44,900, respectively. Over the same period full-time employment decreased by 19,900”, the Bureau said in its press releases accompanying the data.
Interestingly it’s male part-time jobs which has recently been driving this change. ABS data shows approximately 56,000 of the 101,200 part-time jobs created since January are for male workers.
No doubt this recent shift toward part-time will ignite some debate about the type of work and continuing underemployment in the Australian workforce.
But even though the jobs created were part-time the data showed that overall hours worked in the economy increased slightly over the month.
The Bureau said that “seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 3.7 million hours (0.2%) in July 2016, to 1,660.9 million hours”.
Across the nation all states had increases in employment except for Tasmania which saw a fall of 700 jobs in July.
On unemployment New South Wales continued to lead the pack with the unemployment rate dipping 0.1% to 5.2%. That’s holding the overall Australian unemployment rate down with the next best performing state, Victoria, posting a rise from 5.7% to 5.9% unemployment. All other states were above the national average of 5.7 as well while South Australia still holds the mantle as the worst performer, in terms of unemployment rate. But at 6.4% it has fallen sharply from last months 7% rate.