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Australia: Near term indicators are robust for employment - Westpac

Analysts at Westpac forecast of a 20k rise in Australia’s October employment numbers which will be a record breaking 13th consecutive monthly gain in employment.

Key Quotes

“It may be tempting to look for a statistical correction but the strength of the labour market indicators in both consumer and business surveys suggest the underlying momentum remains very robust.” 

“Total employment increased by 19.8k in September, broadly in line with the market median forecast of +15.0k and Westpac’s forecast of +25.0k. Part-time employment grew 13.7k, while full-time rose 6.1k, though importantly hours worked posted a solid 0.7% gain. September’s result was consistent with the positive momentum seen over 2017. After the Australian labour market went through a soft patch in 2016, employment gathered steam as we moved through 2017 rising 371k or 3.1% through the year to September.”

“The unemployment rate fell to 5.5% with the participation rate holding at 65.2% though August’s number was revised lower from 65.3%. In the month the labour force increased just 7.9k. Note that at two decimal places, participation fell slightly to 65.21% from 65.25%, with male participation falling to 70.7% from 70.8% and female participation falling to 59.8% from 59.9%.”

“We are expecting the continuing robust growth in employment to draw more people into the labour force, particularly females. This is behind our forecast for a small rise in participation to 65.3% which will hold the unemployment rate flat at 5.5%.”

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