Jobless rate drops to 5 per cent in December, beating forecasts

Jobless rate drops to 5 per cent in December, beating forecasts

A fall in full-time jobs has been offset by a surge in part-time workers, with a total of 21,600 jobs being added to the economy in December, beating economists forecasts.

The unemployment rate ticked down 0.1 per cent to 5 per cent from November to December, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics monthly labour force survey.

Consensus among economists was an addition of 18,000 jobs in December and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate would hold steady at 5.1 per cent.

Andrew Ticehurst

Full-time employment fell by 3,000 over December but part-time employees increased by 24,600 to 4,035,300. Erin Jonasson

Full-time employment fell by 3,000 but part-time jobs increased by 24,600 to 4,035,300.

Nomura senior economist Andrew Ticehurst said the “decent” result was “particularly encouraging and important for the RBA, in the face of weaker global growth and tighter financial conditions”.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business Internet Vacancy index, released on Wednesday, showed skilled job vacancies had hit six and a half year highs, a sign the jobs market was in “good shape” according to CBA analysts. The index rose 0.7 per cent over December and there were 185,547 skilled job vacancies, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Health and welfare workers were shown to be the most in demand skilled jobs around Australia, with vacancies at record highs.

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