The Australian economy lost 27,000 jobs in the month of June sending the jobless rate up to 5.2 per cent from 5.1 per cent—the second consecutive increase in as many months—shaping up for another possible rate decrease by the central bank.
The overall loss in jobs differed to many economist’s expectations for employment to remain stable. The change in employment has now brought the rate in line with last year’s average.
“The rather impressive job number we had has come to a screeching halt” said Michael Blythe, Chief Economist at the Commonwealth Bank.
The loss in jobs was mainly attributed to those full-time employed. Data released on June 12 from the Nation’s chief statistical agency—the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 33,500 full-time employed lost their jobs in June—bringing the number of full-time employed down to 8,065,500.
The loss in full-time jobs was only partially offset by a 6,600-person increase in part-time employment.
The disparity between part-time and full-time employment has been ongoing.
“This asymmetric outcome arguably points to employers being nervous about the outlook” said Westpac Economist—Elliot Clark.
The participation rate or the number of people in the workforce within the working age also deteriorated in June, partially explaining the decline in employment. The labour force reduced by 20,000 causing the participation rate to fall 0.2 per cent to 65.2 per cent.
The data also demonstrated that job creation trends amongst states is showing long-term disparity. In the month of June, Western Australia (WA) was the only state to generate jobs.
WA is outperforming all the other states with an unemployment rate of only 3.5 per cent, whereas New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have jobless rates within the 5-6 per cent band. And at the other end of the spectrum South Australia and Tasmania are lagging behind with jobless rates at 6.4 per cent and 7.4 per cent, respectively.
“Clearly the mining sector continues to provide the primary impetus to national job creation” said Mr. Clark.
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