Tumbling participation and the decline of full-time jobs means that the Australian labour market is at its weakest level in a decade. But don’t expect today’s data to push the Reserve Bank to act in February.
The unemployment rate ticked up slightly in December, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, but due to rounding it remains at 5.8 per cent – slightly below its peak during the global financial crisis. However, the unemployment rate hides how weak the labour market is right now. Employment growth and the participation rate is where the real information is.