Blokes lead the way as WA jobless rate tumbles

Marco Green
May 17, 2018

It has remained between 5.4 percent and 5.6 percent for nearly a year.

The Australian economy added 22.6K jobs in April, still, the unemployment rate ticked higher to 5.6 percent from the previous month's reading of 5.5 percent, the Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS) data showed.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April 2018 was 3.9 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from the 4.1 percent reported for March 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Participation rate increased by less than 0.1 pts to 65.7%.

There was a 32,700 lift in full-time workers across the country, partially offset by a 10,000 fall in part-time employment.

In trend terms, unemployment was flat while 14,000 new jobs were added.

"Stagnating wages growth, high unemployment, a youth jobs crisis in regional Queensland and flat-lining business confidence are all symptoms of Labor's economic mismanagement", he said.

The RBA last cut rates to a record low 1.5 percent in August 2016 and is seen likely to keep policy unchanged for another year as it awaits a pick up in wage growth and consumer prices.

"The labour market was always set to cool after a strong 2017", said Sarah Hunter, head of Macroeconomics at BIS Oxford Economics.

The underemployment rate - those in work but seeking extra hours - also rose to 8.4 per cent from 8.3 per cent previously.

Wage pressures in the United States have not picked up despite the lower underutilisation rate, and many economists say that might be the case in Australia, too.

Employers' organisation the Australian Industry Group has said there is a link between low wage growth and persistent unemployment and underemployment - the number of people without jobs and people who want more work than they can get.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe recently told lawmakers that average wage annual increases need to be around 3.5 percent to achieve average inflation of 2.5 percent - the midpoint of its long-term target band.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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