Catherine Birch, senior economist at ANZ, points out that for the Australian economy, despite an employment gain of 28.4k in April, the unemployment rate increased to 5.2%.
“Employment increased by 28.4k in April, exceeding the upwardly revised 27.7k in March. In contrast to last month, employment gains in April wholly resulted from a 34.7k rise in part-time jobs. Full-time jobs went backwards by 6.3k, following a strong March figure of 49.2k full-time jobs added. Year on year, full-time jobs are up 2.9%, while part-time employment is up 1.9% and total employment accelerated to 2.6%.”
“The unemployment rate was 5.2% in April, up 0.3ppt from the low of 4.9% in February. The participation rate rose to 65.8%, the highest on record (to two decimal places). The underemployment rate jumped from 8.2% in March to 8.5% in April. So overall slack in the labour market was up quite a bit.”