Labour pains add to the RBA's challenges

It's too early to talk about a recession just yet, but falling workforce participation and a decline in full-time employment will be of concern to central bank policymakers.

The Australian labour market remained soft in November. It is just one of several issues the Reserve Bank of Australia will have to contend with when it next meets in February.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate rose to 5.8 per cent in November, from 5.7 per cent in October (though the rise is mostly due to rounding), to be only slightly below its peak during the global financial crisis.

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