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18 May 2018, 01:16 | Anna Jefferson
Jobless rate ticks up to 5.6 per cent
Australian government bonds edged slightly lower on Thursday after employment index for the month of April hits the highest level since the polling began in March 1997, pushing the benchmark 10-year bond yield to a 3-month high.
The underemployment rate - those in work but seeking extra hours - also rose to 8.4 per cent from 8.3 per cent previously.
Despite evidence that employment growth has slowed, participation in the labour force has never been higher. However, a byproduct of higher participation has been a stubbornly high unemployment rate. Gauteng Province, the country's economic engine, dropped by 0.5 of a percentage point, the Stats SA showed.
In order for unemployment to fall, and for wage growth to eventually pick up, employment will need to outstrip growth in the size of Australian labour market for a considerable period.
Interest rates have been on hold at record lows 1.5 percent since August 2016.
"This will keep a lid on wages growth and price inflation, and will keep the RBA on the sidelines until at least the December quarter 2019".
It has remained between 5.4 percent and 5.6 percent for nearly a year even as annual job growth accelerates at 2.7 percent, more than one-and-a-half times the US pace of job creation of 1.6 percent.
Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 4.7 million hours (0.27%) to 1,749.4 million hours.
"The unemployment rate has continued to be relatively constrained over the past year, and is still hovering around 5.5 to 5.7 per cent", Mr Hockman said. By comparison, the unemployment rate in the two mining states, Queensland and Western Australia jumped to 6.3% and 6.4% in April.
More details are in the April 2018 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat.no. 6202.0).
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