Australian Jobs Growth Surges In August
By James Glynn
SYDNEY--Australia added 54,200 new jobs in August, well above market expectations, cementing a strong uptrend over the last six months.
The country's unemployment rate was unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 5.6% in August, as more people entered the job market.
Economists surveyed ahead of the release had expected a steady jobless rate, predicting the economy would add 20,000 jobs in the month.
The number of people in full-time work rose 40,100, while those in part-time work rose 14,100, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.
The workforce participation rate rose to 65.3% in August from 65.1% in July.
Australia's job market has been a bright spot for much of this year, with full-time job creation leading an acceleration in hiring, and lowering the jobless rate.
Still, Australia faces a big problem of underemployment and flat wages growth, which is holding done consumer confidence. Underemployment decreased by 0.2 points to 8.6% in August from July.
The economy is still a long way from achieving full employment, estimated by the Reserve Bank of Australia at around 5.0%.
The RBA has kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 1.5% for over a year, and is not expected to come off the sidelines until next year at the earliest.
-Write to James Glynn at [email protected]