Australian employment report due today – preview

The labour market report is due at 0030GMT on Thursday 15 November 2018 

Preview posted earlier:

  • Employment Change: expected +20K, prior +5.6K
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.1% expected %, prior 5.0%
  • Full Time Employment Change: prior was +20.3K
  • Part Time Employment Change: prior was -14.7K
  • Participation Rate: expected 65.5%, prior was 65.4%

Via ANZ:

  • We are expecting a rise of 20k in employment in October. While growth in ANZ job ads has been slower, business surveys suggest that the employment market remains solid. The unemployment rate is likely to garner particular focus this month after its sharp fall to 5% in September. We expect a slight nudge higher in October, however we expect unemployment to continue to trend lower over coming months.

Via Westpac:

  • forecast 20k rise in employment and a lift in participation to 65.5% this will see the unemployment rate lift to 5.1%.

Westpac provide a good run down on the previous month as background to today’s release (in summary):

The Sep Labour Force Survey was full of surprises. 

  • The first was that employment came in less than expected rising just 5.6k in the month (the bottom of the range of expectations)
  • At the same time there was a drop in participation to 65.4% from 65.6%

Our holistic view of the survey is that some of the monthly volatility is associated with the rolling of the groups in the survey sample

The other big surprise in the Oct Labour Force was the fall in unemployment to 5.0% which has historically been argued to be the level for the natural rate of unemployment

  • As the fall was associated with a fall in participation, some may be tempted to argue that were it not for the fall in participation then the unemployment rate would have been higher. We don’t give countenance to such a statement as we believe you should take a holistic view of the labour market and not just look at one factor (say employment) and ignoring others (unemployment, participation, and hours worked)


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