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Australia’s employment rises above expectations in January, likely to grow further at a slower rate

The strength in Australia’s labor market continued into 2019, with employment growth coming above expectations and the jobless rate steady. Leading indicators point to further growth in employment, although at a slower rate. Employment rose 39.1k in the month of January. The headline rise in employment growth was mainly due to full-time jobs that rose by 65k. This more than countered the 36k fall in part-time employment and broke the trend of employment growth being led by part-time positions.

The jobless rate came in stable at 5 percent in January, even as the participation rate rose to 65.7 percent from 65.6 percent. An increased participation rate, higher full-time employment and a stable jobless rate pushed down the underemployment rate down to 8.1 percent and total underutilization to 13.2 percent, noted ANZ in a research report.

States wise, the strongest gain in employment in trend terms were recorded in New South Wales and Victoria, while Queensland rose 3.5k. The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory both increased by less than 1k. Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania all saw declines in total employment. The ACT recorded the lowest jobless rate of 3.5 percent, whereas NSW saw the second lowest rate of 4.1 percent. Unemployment rate in WA continues to be the highest at 6.6 percent.

“The ongoing strength in labour market conditions will give the RBA confidence in maintaining its current monetary policy stance. The result highlights that while downside risks to the outlook may have increased, spare capacity in the jobs market continues to fall, which will support improvements in wage growth”, added ANZ.

At 11:00 GMT the FxWirePro's Hourly Strength Index of British Pound was neutral at -45.8266, while the FxWirePro's Hourly Strength Index of US Dollar was slightly bearish at -55.606 more details on FxWirePro's Currency Strength Index, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/currencyindex

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