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Justin Smirk, analyst at Westpac, points out that the Australia’s March Labour Force Survey reported a solid 25.7k gain in employment, which points to a robust trend so far this year with a three month average of 23.7k compared to 21.8k in February.

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“Unemployment did bump up to 5.0% (5.05% at two decimal places) as the 0.1ppt gain in the participation rate to 65.7% drove a 42.7k gain in the labour force.”

“In the last year just about all of the gains in employment were full-time with part-time employment lifting just 0.4%. In fact, female part-time employment has contracted 0.4% in the year. But by gender female full-time employment lifted 150.7k/4.8% in the year while male full-time employment is up 139.1k/2.6%yr.”

“For now, employment has held it together in 2019. We are waiting to see election uncertainty has an impact over the next few months as well as the building dwelling construction slowdown in NSW in particular but also in Victoria.”