Labour force data from Australia, this from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Employment Change: +37.4K ... BIG BEAT

  • expected +5K, prior +60.9K

Unemployment Rate: 5.7% ... BIG BEAT

  • expected 5.9%, prior 5.9%

Full Time Employment Change, -11.6K ... this will detract from the headline somewhat

  • prior was 74.5K

Part Time Employment Change, +49.0K

  • prior was -13.6K

Participation Rate, 64.8%

  • expected is 64.7%, prior was 64.8%

The above are the 'seasonally adjusted' numbers, which is what the market focuses on immediately.

I'll get the 'trend" numbers ASAP ... the ABS tells us these are the one's to pay most attention to. But, yeah, no, thanks. We don't ;-)

Trend employment increased by 19,900

  • Total employment growth over the year was 1.3 per cent, which remains below the average growth rate over the past 20 years of 1.8 per cent
  • Over the past year there was a larger increase in trend part-time employment (102,800) than full-time employment (49,300) - around two-thirds of the total increase in employment
  • This was considerably more pronounced in the trend hours worked, which grew by 3.6 per cent for the part-time employed, and 0.1 per cent for those employed full-time
  • Australia's trend unemployment rate remained at 5.8 per cent for the fourth consecutive month
  • The trend participation rate increased by less than 0.1 percentage points to 64.8 per cent

Says the ABS:

  • Trend series smooth the more volatile seasonally adjusted estimates and provide the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market


Apart from the full-time/part-time split, which as I said above will detract somewhat from the result, the headline is strong.

  • Jobs up
  • Unemployment down
  • Participation up

AUD/USD leaped higher on those good headlines, but has stopped just above 0.7450.

Something to note on the full-time/part-time split. In the Minutes to their May meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia said it had a discussion on changes in the composition of employment, and its view is that "the distinction between full-time and part-time work had become less important in assessing labour market conditions."

Do whatever you like with that, but if so it would seem to have implications for RBA policy going forward.


Some more:

  • Seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased slightly in April 2017, by 4.3 million hours, to 1,659.5 million hours.
  • The trend estimate of monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased slightly (by 2.0 million hours) in April 2017, to 1,663.6 million hours.

Analysts are going to look at this and discount it due to the large number of public holidays in Australia in April (Easter and ANZAC Day)