Australia’s December unemployment rate falls to 5%

Australia's trend unemployment rate fell to 5% in December 2018, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).


In December unemployment fell 5%, as the economy added over 21 thousand jobs.
ABS chief economist, Bruce Hockman said: ‘The trend unemployment rate decreased 0.5 percentage points through 2018, and is now sitting at its lowest level since May 2011.’

According to the ABS, the net movement of employed in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms is reinforced by around 300,000 people entering and leaving employment in December.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 2.3% to 284,100 above the average annual growth over the past 20 years.

ABS data also showed, full-time employment increased by 11,800 persons in December and part-time employment increased by 11,200 persons.

By state, the trend unemployment rate increased in Western Australia and the Northern Territory but decreased in Victoria. All other state unemployment rates remained steady, including the ACT.

Australian dollar price

On balance, markets responded positively to the employment numbers. The Aussie Dollar climbed slightly, bond prices fell very modestly, and Aussie stock received a boost.

IG market analyst, Kyle Rodda says overall, what was revealed in the labour market numbers gave a mixed report on the Australian economy.

‘The unemployment rate dropped, which is good, but only on the basis of a fall in the participation rate. Moreover, full-time employment contracted slightly. This suggests spare capacity in the economy and future sluggishness in wages growth.’ Mr Rodda said.

AUD/USD was up higher to $0.7165 on the back of the news, as investors factored in the solid job data.

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