Via Fairfax and elsewhere


  • Confirms the view that the unemployment rate is overstating the strength in the labour market
  • Alternative measures of spare capacity all still soft


  • Softer underbelly in the employment market
  • Less vibrant than it was, will keep the RBA on alert


  • The RBA is unlikely to interpret ... the unemployment rate as a sign of labour market strength
  • As we said after yesterday's wages update, the Bank is focused on underemployment via a lack of hours worked
  • Concerns within the RBA ... the 4th November Statement of Monetary Policy mentioned "underemployment" 14 times, a measure of excess capacity in the labour market where (especially male) employees would like to work more hours


  • Uncomfortably high level of labour underutilisation
  • Elevated job security fears
  • Downward pressure on wages 'and thus inflation' ... 'as such there may be more policy easing ahead in 2017'


  • A loss of momentum over recent months
  • Jobs growth has halved since mid-year
  • Significant spare capacity
  • Early signs of a lift in hours-worked, a help to household income


  • Today's report, marginally positive given the strong gain in full-time jobs
  • Low wage growth
  • Forward-looking indicators (ANZ job ads, NAB business survey) show some signs of improvement
  • These indicators point to the resilience of Australia's job market into year-end, and if this trend holds up, we expect full-time job gains to outperform part-time gains in coming months

Capital Economics:

  • We suspect that there is still a significant amount of spare capacity in the labour market
  • As such, despite the recent surge in key commodity exports and probable rise in national income, we still expect that wage growth will probably remain subdued for some time yet
  • Overall, alongside yesterday's news that wage growth fell to an all-time low, October's employment data are unlikely to allay the RBA's concerns about the strength of the labour market.


Barclays a bit more optimistic than others in these responses ( & I also saw another optimistic assessment, from Commsec). I'm not sharing their upbeat take on the data.


Added - ANZ analyst Justin Fabo questioning the questioners of weak full-time employment:

How suspect is the weakness in Oz full-time jobs? Not very. Roy Morgan household survey data corroborates it