SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)
* increased by 36,700 to 10,665,500. Full-time employment increased by 47,700 to 7,633,500 and part-time employment decreased by 11,000 to 3,032,100.
* decreased by 16,800 to 440,900. The number of persons looking for full-time work decreased by 5,800 to 293,200 and the number of persons looking for part-time work decreased by 11,000 to 147,700.
* decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.0%. The male unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 3.6%, and the female unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.4%.
* remained steady at 65.2%.
A strong labour market makes it difficult for the RBA to achieve it's aim of slowing domestic demand and raises the possibility of a further rate hike. However, whilst the SFE 30 Day Interbank Cash Rate Futures contract for April still shows 0% chance of a rate hike in April, according to Credit Suisse, the odds that the RBA will cut interest rates by 25 bps over the next 12 months, fell from 96% before the employment report, to 60% after.
It should be remembered that employment is a lagging indicator as are inflationary pressures. However, you get the sense that despite global credit and growth concerns, that the RBA may raise interest rates again if tight labour markets persist and inflation does not show signs of ameliorating. That could cause more pain for a growing number of stressed Australian households.