Australia’s January jobs report is about to be released.
Given increased attention on wage growth in Australia, or lack thereof, there’s likely to be more focus than usual on this report given the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) admission that an acceleration in wage pressures will likely be required to help meet its inflation forecasts.
After the strongest year of employment growth on record in 2017, another solid increase is expected today given ongoing improvement in other leading labour market indicators.
Here’s the state of play.
- In December, employment rose by 34,700, topping forecasts for an increase of 15,000.
- Full-time employment increased 15,100, outpaced by a 19,500 lift in part-time employment.
- It was the 15th consecutive month that employment increased, equalling the longest streak on record. One more positive result today and it will be the longest since the ABS survey began in 1978.
- Despite the lift in employment, total hours worked fell by 4.2 million hours, or 0.2%, to 1.7364 billion hours. More jobs were created, we just worked a little less on average.
- Over the year, employment surged by 403,100, the largest increase over a calendar year on record.
- Full-time employment jumped by 303,400, outpacing a 99,700 increase in part-time employment.
- While employment rose strongly, the unemployment rate rose to 5.5% thanks to a surge in labour market participation which jumped 0.2 percentage points to 65.7%, leaving it at the highest level since January 2011.
- With the size of Australia’s labour market increasing faster than employment, the total number of unemployed rose by 20,500 to 730,600.
- Today, economist expect another solid increase in employment.
- The median forecast offered to Bloomberg looks for an increase of 15,000. Individual forecasts range from a gain of anywhere between 4,000 to 37,900.
- Labour force participation is expected to fall 0.1 percentage points to 65.6%. Along with a modest increase in employment, the unemployment rate is tipped to remain at 5.5%.
- In the absence of quarterly underemployment and underutilisation figures in the January report, markets will likely look to the split between full and part-time employment, total hours worked and the unemployment rate to garner whether further labour market slack was eaten up, an outcome that would help to build wage pressures.
The report will be released at 11.30am AEDT.
Business Insider will have all of the facts and figures, along with the implications, as soon as it hits the screens.