Australia jobless rate unexpectedly rose in January as the impact of record-low interest rates and a weaker currency waned following strong employment growth late last year.
Jobless rate rose to 6% from 5.8%; economists predicted 5.8%. Employment fell 7,900 from December; economists forecast 13,000 gain. Full-time jobs dropped 40,600; part-time employment gained 32,700. Participation rate, a measure of labor force in proportion to the population, was unchanged at 65.2%, matching economists’ forecasts.
Australian policy makers are trying to support growth against a backdrop of stagnant wages, falling business investment and weak commodity prices. They have enjoyed some luck with services industries including education and tourism adding jobs as they capitalize on the weaker currency.
The slump in employment follows a surge in jobs in October and November, though the magnitude of the increases in late 2015 brought renewed skepticism about the accuracy of the labor force data, which the Australian Bureau of Statistics has acknowledged in the past.
The local dollar traded at 71.37 U.S. cents at 11:34 a.m. in Sydney, from 71.77 cents before the data was released.
Source : Bloomberg