Australia’s unemployment rate has pushed higher for the second consecutive month, putting pressure on the RBA’s stance that the jobs market needed to improve to meet its goals.
In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.2 per cent in April, from an upwardly revised 5.1 per cent the month before.
It was 4.9 per cent in February.
In the more stable trend terms, unemployment was steady at 5.1 per cent.
The increase was in line with softer leading indicators reported in job ads and business surveys, but higher than the consensus forecast and considerably higher than the RBA’s hopes for an improved outlook.
Further cooling in the jobs market is not surprising given the insipid wages growth. Wages grew by just 0.6 per cent in the first three months of the year, or 2.3 per cent over the previous 12 months.
While jobless queues lengthened — there are now 703,000 Australians out of work — job creation continued at a solid rate.
In seasonally adjusted terms, 28,4000 new jobs were created — with 34,700 new part-time roles outweighing the loss of 6,300 full time positions.
More to come.