Australia: Labour market disappointed expectations in August – UOB


Economist at UOB Group Lee Sue Ann reviews the recently published labour market report in Australia for the month of August.

Key Takeaways

“Seasonally adjusted employment in Australia fell by 146,300 people in August, following the increase of 3,100 jobs in July. Full-time employment decreased by 68,000 to 8,956,500 people, and part-time employment decreased by 78,200 to 4,066,100 people. The participation rate slumped by 0.8 percentage points to 65.2%, from 66.0% in July.”

“The relatively large fall in unemployment, which accounted for around 13% of the 168,000 person fall in the total labour force, saw the unemployment rate falling to 4.5%, from 4.6% previously. This, however, reflected a large fall in participation during the lockdowns, rather than a strengthening in labour market conditions.” 

“The latest jobs numbers were unsurprising, given that the data covered the first two weeks of August, which saw the country struggling to quell a third wave of COVID-19 infections, which hit its two largest cities – Sydney and Melbourne – as well as the capital, Canberra, forcing nearly half the country's 25 million people into strict stay-at-home restrictions.”

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