Jobs in Australia rose by 16,000 in January

Australia’s streak of employment gains reached the longest on record in January, while unemployment fell a tick and female participation in the workforce climbed to an all-time high.

Thursday’s figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 16,000 net new jobs were added in January, in line with forecasts and a solid result given it came on top of outsized increases in both December and November.

It was the 16th straight month of increases, the longest such run since the monthly series began in 1978. Annual jobs growth of 3.3 percent was more than twice the pace of U.S. job
creation.

The unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, from an upwardly revised 5.6 percent in December, and has held between 5.4 percent and 5.6 percent for nine months now.

One soft spot was a 49,800 drop in full-time jobs, though that followed an incredibly strong run over the past year.

“Overall, the job market is clearly in great shape. Jobs are being created, more people are looking for work and businesses are still keen to hire,” said Craig James, Sydney-based chief
economist at CommSec.

“The Reserve Bank believes ‘full employment’ is near 5 percent. So there is still ample spare capacity,” he added.

The participation rate remained elevated at 65.6 percent, having climbed steadily over the past year as more women went looking for work.

With labour supply expanding to meet demand, there was less upward pressure on wages and inflation, thus no…

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