For a second consecutive month, Australia’s labour market has stunned investors.
In November 71,400 jobs were created, smashing expectations for a decline of 10,000. It was the largest monthly increase in employment since July 2000, right before the Sydney Olympic Games were held.
Full time employment soared by 41,600, outpacing an equally impressive rise in part time employment of 29,800. Female employment increased by 54,000, more than doubling that for males which rose by 17,400.
Curiously, despite the ripping jobs figure, the number of monthly hours worked decreased by 12.7 million hours, or 0.8%.
Including the 56,100 increase of October, the labour market has now created 127,500 jobs over the past two months – the largest two-month increase since January 1988, and second largest in the history of the survey.
From November 2014, employment grew by 344,200, the largest annual gain since January 2008. In percentage terms that represents an increase of 2.97%, an acceleration in jobs growth not seen since June 2008.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, beating the median economist forecast for an increase to 6.0%. It now sits at the lowest level since November 2013.
Making the decline in employment all the more impressive, it came despite the participation rate jumping 0.3% to 65.3%. According to the ABS, the size of the labour force grew by 68,600, the third largest monthly increase in the past decade.
With the rise in employment topping the increase in the size of the labour market, the number of unemployed fell by 2,800 persons.
All the key figures to come from the November jobs report can be found in the chart below.
Adding to doubts over the ABS seasonally adjusted data, the state and territory unemployment figures were even more wild than national data. Unemployment in New South Wales plummeted to 5.2%, a decline of 0.3%, while that in Victoria leapt by 0.6% to 6.2%. Elsewhere declines were recorded in Queensland (5.9%) and South Australia (7.3%) while unemployment in Western Australia (6.6%) and Tasmania (6.6%) rose.
The ABS stated that the incoming survey rotation group used in November displayed a stronger tendency towards both participation and particularly employment than the group it replaced, resulting higher a participation rate and employment to population ratio.
“This has contributed to the recent strong growth in employment,” the Bureau wrote.
Despite questions about the reliability of the robust jobs report, the Australian dollar has been ripping higher as bets on further interest rate cuts from the RBA were unwound by traders. As at 12.10pm AEDT, the AUD/USD currently buys .7314, an increase of 1.2% for the session.
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