Australia’s September jobs
lottery report will be released later on this morning, with economists looking for a rebound in employment growth following a surprise decline in August.
While it’s always been an important data release, even forgiving the wild monthly swings in the seasonally adjusted figures, it has perhaps taken on more significance of late given signs that the Reserve Bank of Australia is actively monitoring the degree of labour market slack within the Australian economy.
Here’s the state of play:
- In August, employment fell by 3,900, missing forecasts for an increase of 15,000.
- Full-time employment rose by 11,500 while part-time employment fell by 15,400.
- Over the past 12 months, full-time employment increased by 31,900, or 0.4%. That increase has been overshadowed by a lift in part-time employment of 148,600, or 4.1%, over the same period.
- While part-time employment is often dismissed, it must be remembered that it captures those who normally work less than 35 hours per week and who worked less than 35 hours per week during the survey period.
- Despite the monthly miss on jobs, the unemployment rate dipped to 5.6% from 5.7%, helped by a decline in labour market participation that slid from 64.9% to 64.7%.
- While unemployment dipped, underemployment — capturing employed persons who would like to work more hours — rose to 8.7%, the highest level on record.
- Adding to signs of increased labour market slack, total hours worked fell by 0.2%, or 3.9 million hours.
- Looking ahead to today’s report, economists expect employment will rebound in September, although many suspect that the volatility in the data will persist.
- The median forecast looks for a gain in employment of 15,000, although, individually, forecasts range from an increase of 30,000 to a decline of 7,400.
- The National Australia Bank, at the high end of market forecasts, says that there’s a possibility that “an even higher print could be in the offing owing to monthly sample variability”.
- The unemployment rate is tipped to rise to 5.7% as participation lifts from 64.7% to 64.8%.
- Markets will also be paying close attention to the seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked figure as well. It came in at 1.656 billion hours in August.
The report is scheduled for release at 11.30am AEDT.
Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as the data drops.
I’m David Scutt and you can follow me on Twitter @David_Scutt — I’ll be covering the release live.