Australia Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Falls in December

Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched lower to 5.0 percent in December 2018, matching the 6-1/2 year-low touched in September and October and below market expectations 5.1 percent.
ABS | Rida Husna | 1/24/2019 10:29:51 AM
The number of unemployed declined by 14.1 thousand to 666.7 thousand in December. People looking for full-time work fell 9.6 thousand to 458.7 thousand, and those looking for only part-time work dropped 4.6 thousand to 208.0 thousand. Male unemployment declined 12.9 thousand and female unemployment decreased 1.2 thousand.

Employment rose 21.6 thousand to 12.7 million, easily beating market consensus of a 16.5 thousand increase and following a 39.0 thousand gain in November. The December's increase was entirely led by part-time work (24.6 thousand to 4.0 million), which offset a decline in full-time employment (-3.0 thousand to 8.7 million).

The participation rate fell 0.1 points from a month earlier to 65.6 percent, slightly below forecasts of 65.7 percent. Meantime, the employment to population ratio went up 0.1 percentage points to 62.4 percent.

The underemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent in December but stayed above its historical average, pointing to still-high spare capacity in the labour market.

Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 1.3 million hours, or 0.1 percent, to 1,758.9 million hours.

Australia Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Falls in December