Australia’s job market unexpectedly dropped in April, according to figures released on Thursday, as jobless rose amid some softening in economic activity. Despite a high number of openings indicating that the labour market was still hot.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the overall number of employed individuals in the country declined by 4,300 in April to a seasonally adjusted 13.9 million. The reading fell short of estimates for a 25,000-person increase. And it also indicated that development in the sector was slowing after a 53,000-person boom in March.
The unemployment rate increased to 3.7% from 3.5% the previous month.
While the overall number of hour work increased in April, due to the Easter holidays, fewer persons worked. However, the ABS stated in a release that the labour deficit in Australia was being met to some extent by people working longer hours.
The reading suggests a slowdown in the Australian job market after a year of post-COVID expansion. A projected cooldown in the labour market coincides with Australian interest rates trending at decade highs. Following a rise by the Reserve Bank to combat high inflation.
The declining job reading coincides with data from statistics issued on Wednesday showing a slight slowdown in salary growth in Australia during the first quarter of 2023.
The RBA has cautioned that employment will likely drop further this year if interest rate remain high or even rise further. Weakness in the labour market also limits the RBA’s ability to raise interest rates further.
Following this premise, the Australian dollar fell 0.4% on Thursday.
Nonetheless, the RBA is expected to look for more signals of labour market weakening as it tighten policy this year. The bank unexpectedly raised rates of interest earlier in May and indicated that. It may do so again in the near future.
Despite a rise in April, the jobless rate was still very near to the 50-year low reached in 2017.
One of the few economic bright spots in Australia. Which is struggling with rising interest rate & high inflation, has been the country’s robust employment rate.