The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released its labour force report for January, which registered a 0.2% fall in the official unemployment rate to 6.6% of a 0.4% increase in jobs:
Full-time jobs rose by 59,000 partly offset by a 29,800 fall in part-time employment:
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The participation rate fell by 0.06% to 66.11%:
Total employment has rebounded 6.7% from its May low, and remains only 0.5% below its February peak:
Full-time employment has rebounded 3.7% from its June low and remains 0.7% below the February peak.
By contrast, part-time employment has rebounded 14.7% from its May low and is now 0.1% above its February peak:
Annual employment losses are concentrated in the two biggest states, whereas the other states have experienced jobs growth:
TAS has the lowest unemployment rate and SA the highest:
The big negative in this release saw the huge reduction in aggregate hours worked, which fell by 4.9% (86 million hours) to be 6.2% below the March peak:
The next chart shows the broad-based changes across the Australian labour market over the past year:
Finally, the underemployment rate fell 0.4% to 8.1%, whereas underutilisation fell 0.6% to 14.5%:
Overall, this is a mixed release with ongoing jobs growth and falling underutilisation offset by a huge fall in aggregate hours worked.
Given the broader evidence of improvement in the labour market, I’m happy to put this one down as a rogue release and sampling error.
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