Part-time workers seem to feel the most pain in Australia’s job market as recent data reveals that 30,000 jobs were lost in December, with part-time employment being down by 53,700 to 3.37 million.
Full-time employment rose by 24,500 to eight million in December, but despite the big drop in overall job numbers, the unemployment rate remained at 5.2 per cent. The big drop in part-time employment reflects tough times in seasonal industries such as retail and hospitality. The weak job data is adding to the case for interest rate cuts next month, economists said yesterday, a day after the announcement of the current figures.
Total employment fell 293,000 to 11,421,300 in the month, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The forecast was for total employment to have risen by 5,000 in December with the unemployment rate at 5.3 per cent, according to the median of 13 economists surveyed by AAP. The December participation rate was 65.2 per cent, compared with an unrevised 65.5 per cent in November.
The participation rate was forecast to be 65.5 per cent. The Australian dollar plummeted about one third of a US cent after the ABS released the latest job data.