Australia Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for Australia Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized!

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

16th May 2024

Labour Force, Australia

Key takeaway: The latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the number of employed persons in Australia increased in April 2024 by 38.5K jobs against consensus expectations for an increase of 22.4K jobs. The total number of employed persons increased from 14.261mn in Mar to 14.300mn in April – on a seasonally adjusted basis. While the headline number showed a relatively robust increase in jobs and better than consensus expectations, there was more detail to unearth in the employment report. A significant portion of the job gains came from part time jobs. Full-time jobs with higher wages and benefits, on the other hand, fell by 6.1K in April. While the participation rate increased from 66.6% to 66.7%, the number of unemployed increased from 573.9K to 604.2K, resulting in the unemployment rate increasing from 3.9% to 4.1%. Even last month’s unemployment rate was revised higher from 3.8% to 3.9%. While monthly job numbers tend to be volatile, a smoothing trend shows a decline in job growth and a consequent gradual rise in unemployment rate in Australia. However, given the persistent inflation data, market participants still don’t view the current labor data as an impetus for an immediate rate cut. 

18th Apr 2024

Key takeaway: The latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the number of employed persons in Australia decreased in March 2024 by 6.6K jobs against consensus expectations for an increase of 7.2K jobs. The total number of employed persons increased from 14.266mn in February to 14.260mn in March – on a seasonally adjusted basis. While the headline number was a drop from the last report, it needs to be viewed in the context of the bumper jobs print of 116K in the previous month of February. Similarly, the blockbuster number of 116K of February itself came on the back of weak prints in January and December. Monthly employment prints in Australia tend to be very volatile and hence market participants and economists tend to look beyond the monthly fluctuations focusing more on the underlying trend. The labour market in Australia remains tight and wage growth remains robust. This remains a key factor for RBAs monetary policy decision. The continued tight labour market together with next week’s key quarterly inflation report would form the basis of RBA next policy decision in early May and the subsequent line of communication to the market. The latest report also showed the unemployment rate tick slightly up to 3.8% from 3.7% in the prior month. Participation rate stayed relatively steady at 66.6%.   

21st Mar 2024

Key takeaway: The latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the number of employed persons in Australia increased in February 2024 by a sizeable 116.5K jobs against consensus expectations for an increase of 39.7K jobs. The total number of employed persons increased from 14.153mn in January to 14.269mn in February – on a seasonally adjusted basis. While the headline number was substantially large and much higher than most market participant’s expectations, it also needs to be viewed in the context of the soft jobs data in the past 2 months. The initial reading for the month of January had shown jobs increased the previous month by only 0.5K (although that number was revised up to 15K later). Similarly, jobs added in the month of December had been negative 63K. Overall the labor market continues to remain tight in Australia. The unemployment rate fell sharply from 4.1% in January to 3.7% in February. Participation rate stayed relatively steady at 66.6%.   

15th Feb 2024

Key takeaway: The latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the number of employed persons in Australia increased in January 2024 by  a meagre 500 jobs against consensus expectations for an increase of 26K jobs. The total number of employed persons increased from 14.2oomn in December to 14.201mn in January – on a seasonally adjusted basis. This data point also needs to be viewed in conjunction with last month’s jobs data which had shown employment had fallen by a whopping 65K jobs in December. To put things into context, the decline of 65K in December was the largest since September 2021 (minus 122K) when much of Australia was shut down due to Covid lockdowns. The record number of jobs lost was approx. 584K during the peak of the Covid pandemic in April 2020. The unemployment rate also jumped from 3.9% in December to 4.1% in January. Participation rate stayed steady at 66.8%.   

18th Jan 2024

Key takeaway: The latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the number of employed persons in Australia dropped in December 2023 by a very substantial 65K against consensus expectations for an increase of 18K jobs. The total number of employed persons decreased from 14.266mn in November to 14.201mn in December – on a seasonally adjusted basis. To put things into context, the decline of 65K was the largest since September 2021 (minus 122K) when much of Australia was shut down due to Covid lockdowns. The record number of jobs lost was approx. 584K during the peak of the Covid pandemic in April 2020. The other key point to note was that much of the job losses came from full time jobs (down 107K). The unemployment rate held steady at 3.9% primarily because the participation rate also fell from 67.2% to 66.8%.   

The monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) provides information about the labour market activity of Australia’s resident civilian population aged 15 years and over. The LFS is designed to primarily provide estimates of employment and unemployment for the whole of Australia and, secondarily, for each state and territory. The sample size of the LFS is approximately 24,000 dwellings resulting in a sample of approximately 50,000 people.

Statistics from the monthly Labour Force Survey are released in two stages:
The initial release is Labour Force, Australia, which includes headline estimates of employment, unemployment, underemployment, participation and hours worked for Australia, and the states and territories.
The second release is Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, which includes more detailed monthly and quarterly data.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force Australia