Australia Jobless Rate Drops to 8-Month Low
Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.6% in December 2020 from 6.8% a month earlier and below market consensus of 6.7%. This was the lowest jobless rate since April, as the economy emerged gradually from the COVID-19 shocks. The number of unemployed declined by 30,100 to 912,000 people, as people looking for full-time work was down by 14,300 to 658,700 and those looking for only part-time work declined by 15,800 to 253,300. Employment grew by 50,000 to 12,910,800, matching market estimates, as full-time employment went up by 35,700 to 8,761,400, and part-time employment gained 14,300 to 4,149,300. The participation rate edged up to a 16-month high of 66.2% in December from 66.1% in November, in line with forecasts. The underemployment rate fell to 0.8 points to 8.5%, and the underutilization rate dropped 1.1 points to 15.1%. Monthly hours worked in all jobs rose 2 million hours, or 0.1% to 1,753 million hours.
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