Australian employment surged in January, led by full-time jobs, while unemployment held at 5 percent as more people sought work.
Jobs rose 39,100 from December, compared with the median forecast of economists for a 15,000 gain; the unemployment rate held at 5% as expected
Full-time jobs climbed 65,400 from a month earlier, while part-time jobs fell 26,300. The participation rate rose to 65.7 percent from 65.6 percent.
Underemployment fell 0.2 percentage point to 8.1 percent; underutilization fell 0.1 point to 13.2 percent; New South Wales unemployment fell to 3.9 percent from 4.3 percent.
While the jobless rate -- a key metric for the Reserve Bank -- edged lower last year, it has failed to tighten the labor market sufficiently to drive the faster wage growth needed to reignite inflation; among impediments have been a swelling labor force and high underemployment.
The jobs market has been a key factor underpinning the central bank’s confidence in the outlook, even as it recently abandoned a tightening bias in favor of neutral policy. A two-year hiring bonanza supported the view that running a record-low cash rate to fuel economic growth will eventually push up inflation.
The Australian dollar rose to 71.99 U.S. cents at 11:35 a.m. in Sydney from 71.65 pre-data.
Source : Bloomberg