No matter what you call it, be it volatile, unreliable or not worth the paper it’s written on, Australia’s February jobs report will arrive later on this morning.
Given recent weakness in lead labour market indicators such as ANZ job ads and Westpac’s unemployment expectations index, along with two underwhelming months of job growth in December and January, markets will watching for any signs of softness in the the official ABS release.
Here’s the state of play.
- In January employment fell by 7,900, bucking expectations for an increase of 13,000.
- Full time employment slid by 40,600, overshadowing a 32,700 increase in part time employment.
- In the 12 months to January, employment increased by 298,300, or 2.57%.
- Despite the sharp fall in full time employment, monthly hours worked increased by 10.9 million hours, or 0.7%, to 1,656.0 million hours.
- With employment undershooting to the downside and participation holding steady at 65.2%, the national unemployment rate rose for the first time in six months, jumping from 5.8% to 6.0%. It was the highest level seen since September last year.
- The number of unemployed increased by 30,200 to 761,4001, also the highest seen since September.
- Of the states, New South Wales recorded the lowest unemployment rate across the nation at 5.2%. South Australia, at 6.9%, recorded the highest rate.
- In February, economists expected job growth to accelerate. The median forecast from 27 economists polled by Bloomberg is for an increase in employment of 12,000. The range of forecasts is narrow at 3,200 to 25,000. No one is predicting a decrease.
- The unemployment rate is tipped to remain steady at 6.0%.
The report will be released at 11.30am AEDT.
Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as the data drops.