Australian Unemployment Jumps To Highest Since October 2004
The Australian Unemployment Rate for February shot up to levels last seen in Oct. 2004. Economist expectations of a 5.0% figure were overshot by a realized value of 5.2% after having posted a 4.8% reading in January. The participation rate continued to jump for a third consecutive month, by 0.5% points to 65.5% in February. Falling participation along with rising unemployment indicates that a broader measure of labor strength may be deteriorating. As people become discourage and halt their search of jobs, they are removed from the sample space used to estimate the unemployment rate. Had those disenfranchised ex-laborers been included, the unemployment figure would have likely been greater.
Structurally, the labor market shifted a large portion of full-time positions into part-time ones. 53.8K full-time positions were lost while 55.6K part-times were created.