Extract from an article by David Shutt
Australia’s February jobs report has missed expectations, with unemployment shooting higher as employment growth fell.
According to the ABS, employment fell by 6,400 in seasonally adjusted terms, missing the median economist forecast that was looking for an increase of 16,500.
It was the first decline in employment since September 2016, and left total employment at 11.999 million.
Cushioning some of the blow from the drop in total employment, the ABS said that full time employment grew by 27,100, partially reversing the 44,100 drop recorded in January.
Part time employment fell by 33,500, again reversing much of the increase registered a month earlier.
Over the past year, full-time employment decreased by 23,200 in seasonally adjusted terms. Over the same period, part-time employment rose by 127,800.
Total employment increased by 104,600, or 0.88%. Annual employment growth has now been running below 1% for the past five months.
By gender, male employment increased by 51,200, or 0.8%, over the past 12 months. That was slightly outpaced by employment growth among females which increased by 53,400, or 1%.
With total employment declining, and with labour market participation holding steady at 64.6%, the unemployment rate jumped to 5.9%, up from 5.7% in January.
That was the highest level since January 2016, with 748,100 currently out of work.
Male unemployment rose to 5.8%, a sharp increase on the 5.5% level of January, while female unemployment ticked up to 6.0%, the highest level since June 2016.
Youth unemployment — those aged 15 to 24 years — jumped to 13.3% in seasonally adjusted terms, a full percentage point higher than the level reported in January. Male youth unemployment stands at 14.5%, well above the 11.8% level for females.
SOURCE: Shutt, David. “Australian Unemployment Jumps, Jobs Fall.” Business Insider Australia, 16 March 2017.
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