Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Australia jobless rate ticked higher in April, job additions beat estimates

Australia jobless rate ticked higher in April, job additions beat estimates

Employment rose by a brisk 3.4 percent in 2017.

The agricultural sector recorded 3,000 job losses, it said, noting that the expanded unemployment rate increased by 0.4 of a percentage point in the first quarter, to 36.7% quarter-to-quarter.

So if you already have a job and are holding out for a wage increase these figures show you will be waiting a lot longer.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.6 per cent in April, from 5.5 per cent in March. That means employers have greater control of pay levels. This continued the recent slowing of employment growth, particularly full-time employment growth.

"It's important to remember how much change there is in the labour market every month beneath a net increase of 14,000 persons", said bureau chief economist Bruce Hockman today.

More than one million people have found employment since the coalition government came to power in September 2013, fulfilling an election promise by former Liberal leader Tony Abbott to reach that target in five years.

Australia jobless rate ticked higher in April, job additions beat estimates

Across the States, the jobless rate was steady in NSW (at 5 per cent), Victoria (5.3 per cent), the Northern Territory (4.3 per cent) and the ACT (4 per cent) while it edged down in Tasmania (to 6 per cent). There was also a lift in the participation rate which measures the number of people in work or looking for employment.

Additional factors include low inflation and, an AiG report emphasises, low productivity improvement.

The strength of employment has been one of the brightest parts of the economy but the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is awaiting a steady decline in the jobless rate and a revival in wage growth before considering an end to its easy policy.

The unemployment rate is at its highest level since July a year ago.

The budget forecasts wage growth accelerating to 3.25 per cent by 2019/20 when a small surplus is predicted and 3.5 per cent thereafter.

The AiG said "average wages have kept growing (weakly) in real terms across the Australia".

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