The Australian Bureau of Statistics says Australia’s economy added a monster 121,000 jobs in August – a massive print that has everyone bewildered. The market had been expecting 15,000 jobs added.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.1%, from 6.4%.
So there are now more than 11.7 million Australians officially in work – an all time record. A huge amount of the gains were in part-time employment, which increased 106,700 to 3,609,200. Full-time employment increase 14,300 to 8,094,300.
Part of the story here is that the ABS changed its methodology for the labour force survey for the August survey, which many observers suspected was behind the spike in the unemployment rate.
A lot of commentators are jumping straight to statistical noise. Some have been polite about it:
Aust Aug jobs figures are as unbelievably +ve as July surge in unemployment to 6.4% was unbelievably -ve. Best taken as statistical noise!..
— Shane Oliver (@ShaneOliverAMP) September 11, 2014
Volatility in ABS employment data a bit of an embarrassment.. but must be some positive signal from such a loud noise.
— David Bassanese (@DavidBassanese) September 11, 2014
Others, not so much:
Absolute joke #ausbiz
— David Scutt (@David_Scutt) September 11, 2014
HOWEVER – as much as there might be noise in the data, the overall signal over recent months has been steady job creation in Australia.
The Australian dollar surged back above US92c from US91.6c where it sat just before the data print.