Australia adds whopping 44000 jobs in August, a big beat on expectations

Irving Hamilton
September 15, 2018

That would potentially clear the path for the first rate hike since 2010, though traders see little prospect of a move in the next 12 months.

However the figures show the slackness in the labour market that has kept wages growth low tightened a bit.

Underemployment fell to 8.1 per cent in August, the best result in four years, he said, but it needed to fall into the six per cent range to get back to pre-global financial crisis levels.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce's chief economist, Adam Carr, said underemployment would need to come down much further before there was an uptick in wages growth. The underutilisation rate decreased 0.4 pts to 13.4%. Good news for the millions of households across the country.

Employment growth in August was twice as high as expected, keeping the nation's unemployment rate steady at 5.3 per cent for the second month in a row.

"Ample slack remains in the labour market". "Although we still have a long way to go".

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Australia's labour market has remained strong since early 2017 but that has yet to translate into bigger pay awards for workers.

Particularly welcome has been the recent improvement in full-time employment. Full-time roles have accounted for around three-quarters of employment growth over the past three months. The unemployment rate among 15 - 24 year olds has declined to 11.2%, from 12.4% at the beginning of the year, with the decline particularly impressive since it has coincided with a sizable increase in participation.

Unemployment decreased 2,700 to 711,900.

Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 2.5 million hours (0.1%) to 1,751.4 million hours. Consequently, hours worked per person continues to tumble. The number of unemployed persons looking for full-time work decreased 7,500 to 494,800 and the number of unemployed persons only looking for part-time work increased 13,200 to 214,000.

Michele Levine, Roy Morgan CEO, asserts high unemployment stems from Australia's workforce booming faster than employment growth.

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