Blokes lead the way as WA jobless rate tumbles

Credit gstockstudio 123RF Stock

Credit gstockstudio 123RF Stock

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.6 per cent, and the seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate increased slightly to 65.6 per cent.

But the unemployment rate rose to 5.6% last month, up from 5.5% seen in March.

In seasonally adjusted terms 32,700 new full-time jobs were created over the month, more than offsetting the loss of 10,000 part-time positions.

The Australian dollar has been boosted by the data, trading at 75.27 U.S. cents at 1200 AEST, up from 75.18 USA cents just prior to the release.

However, disappointing unemployment rate paused the rise in the bond yields across the curve.

The number of hours worked rose by 1.1 per cent in April and was up 5.4 per cent over the year, the strongest annual gain in 18 years.

Employers' organisation the Australian Industry Group has said there is a link between low wage growth and persistent unemployment and underemployment - the number of people without jobs and people who want more work than they can get.

Employment conditions across Australia reached a record high last month in National Australia Bank's (NAB's) monthly business survey, amid overall above-average confidence among firms.

Ms Hunter expected jobs growth to remain subdued for at least the rest of 2018, given weak retail figures in the March quarter and the coming downturn in residential construction.

"But such a sharp slowdown is an indication that jobs growth jumped the gun on output growth a year ago".

Victoria had the largest fall, with 10,000 fewer people in work, followed by Queensland, down 8,200.

"Other alleged causes of slow wages growth - such as low levels of union membership, the extent of casual employment, Australia's (wage) bargaining laws and migration - are not significant drivers of wages growth", said AIG chief executive Innes Willox.

South Africa's stubbornly high unemployment rate, especially among the youth, is one of the major challenges facing the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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