Australian Bureau of Statistics today released its monthly Labour Force figures for the month of March 2014. Much to the surprise of economists, the unemployment rate has dropped 2 basis points from 6.0 percent to 5.8 percent. It had been initially predicted that the average unemployment rate would increase to 6.1%.
ABS reported that the Australian economy has added 18,100 jobs in March. However, this may not be as good a news as it seems at first glance, suggest Job Market Analysts at People Innovations. Analysts believe that these figures may not draw a clear picture of the country’s employment scenario because, in essence, full-time employment has decreased 22,100. The increase in employment numbers can be mainly contributed to part-time employment figures that increased 40,200 for the month.
Moreover, while the unemployment numbers decreased by 29,900, the total number of people looking for full-time employment decreased by 16,700 leading to a decline in the participation rate. Therefore, while the unemployment rate has dropped for the month of March, the corresponding drop in participation rate & number of full-time employment are signs of continually weakening of the labor market.