MNI BRIEF: Aussie Unemployment Ticks Up to 3.7%
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped to 3.7% in April from March’s 3.5%, according to Australian Bureau of Statists data released today.
The move higher beat expectations the rate would hold steady. The data showed the participation rate had decreased to 66.7%, while the underemployment rate fell to 6.1%.
The jobs data follows wage figures released Wednesday, which showed the seasonally adjusted wage price index rose 0.8% over the March quarter and 3.7% over the year, up from 3.6% recorded over Q4 2022 (see: MNI BRIEF: Aussie Wages Stronger at 3.7% Y/Y).
Following the RBA's May decision to hike rates 25bp to 3.85%, Governor Philip Lowe stressed the Reserve would protect employment gains as it fights inflation (see: MNI: RBA Inflation Strategy to Protect Labour Gains). The May minutes release Tuesday showed the board’s renewed determination to fight inflation and its focus on wages and employment as key inputs into its decision making (see: MNI: RBA Determined to Bring Inflation Down - May Minutes).