Australia’s jobless rate hits 3-year low in August
SYDNEY: Australia’s jobless rate hit a threeyear low in August, yet employment still dipped in the month and the swelling numbers looking to work longer hours pointed to plenty of spare capacity in the labour market.
Yesterday’s data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 3,900 net new jobs were lost in August, a sharp contrast to forecasts of a 15,000 gain. Even so, the jobless rate fell to 5.6% as fewer people looked for work.
While full-time positions rose 11,500 in August, that was not enough to make up for a plunge in July.
All of which could keep wages growth at record lows and feed through to muted demand and confidence, a worrying trend that might force the Reserve Bank of Australia’s hand once again.
“You wouldn’t expect on these numbers, wages growth pushing back up anytime soon,” said Ben Jarman, Sydney-based economist at JP Morgan. “We still think there’s enough spare capacity in the market to keep inflation low and put pressure on the RBA to lower rates over time.”
Currency investors reacted to the mixed report and pushed the Australian dollar about 20 ticks lower to $0.7450 (RM2.30)
Debt markets imply a 30% chance of another cut in rates by Christmas. – Reuters