Monday, 21 May, 2018


Why unemployment figure is bad news for getting a pay rise

Employment conditions at record high Jobless rate ticks up to 5.6 per cent
Conrad Doyle | 17 May, 2018, 18:29

Australia's jobless rate has edged up to 5.6 per cent despite another 22,600 jobs being added in April.

That involved 14,000 extra jobs created - 8000 full-time and 6000 part-time - and a lot more people wanting to join the workforce - a rise in the participation rate to 65.7 per cent, the highest level since 1978.

"Participation in the labour market remains high, which is a positive sign of labour market strength, but the rise in the participation rate caused the unemployment rate to rise to its highest level for 9 months", she said.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.6 per cent in April, from 5.5 per cent in March.

The Australian dollar has been boosted by the data, trading at 75.27 U.S. cents at 1200 AEST, up from 75.18 USA cents just prior to the release.

In the first quarter, gains were recorded in the formal sector, with an increase of 111,000 jobs, while the informal sector added 93,000 while private households added 5,000 jobs, the agency added.

There was also a 10,600 increase in the number of unemployed.

Plenty of people are still looking for work, keeping wage growth subdued.

BIS Oxford Economics head of macroeconomics Sarah Hunter said the wage results will make it challenging for the federal government to hit its projected budget surplus in mid-2020 given the Treasury's dependence on robust increases in income tax revenue.

It has remained between 5.4 percent and 5.6 percent for nearly a year even as annual job growth accelerates at 2.7 percent, more than one-and-a-half times the US pace of job creation of 1.6 percent.

The March figure had prompted concerns about the state of the WA economy.

More than 8000 fewer Queenslanders are in work now than a month ago, new statistics reveal.

National Australia Bank markets chief economist Ivan Colhoun said the Reserve Bank of Australia would see the jobless data as an indication that spare capacity remains in the labour market, increasing the chances that it will keep interest rates on hold for longer than expected.

The fall was driven by men with their unemployment rate falling to 6.6 per cent from 7.2 per cent.

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