Australian jobs data: Employment Change +4.6K (vs. expected +15K) but Unemployment Rate 4.9% – a beat vs expected 5.0%

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Australia’s February labour force survey has arrived – but it wasn’t as if a one-off softer reading was going to really change the RBA’s mindset about how robust the labour force is in Australia.

“In the minutes of the 5 March Board meeting, RBA members “observed that labour market conditions had continued to improve, despite a slowing in the momentum of output growth in the second half of 2018,” noted analysts at Westpac.

Meanwhile, the data has arrived as follows: 

  • Employment Change +4.6K for a miss vs expected +15K, prior +39.1K.
  • Unemployment Rate 4.9% a beat vs expected 5.0%, prior 5.0%.
  • Full-Time Employment Change -7.3K  vs prior was +65.4K.
  • Part Time Employment Change +11.9K  vs prior was -26.3K.
  • Participation Rate 65.6% –  a miss vs expected 65.7%, prior was 65.7%.

The market reaction has been to back the Aussie on the Unemployment Rate 4.9% – AUD/USD has leaped about 50 pips – But it is worth noting that Tokyo is out, so there is less liquidity out there.

About the Unemployment Rate

The Unemployment Rate released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is the number of unemployed workers divided by the total civilian labour force. If the rate hikes, indicates a lack of expansion within the Australian labour market. As a result, a rise leads to weakening the Australian economy. A decrease of the figure is seen as positive (or bullish) for the AUD, while an increase is seen as negative (or bearish).

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