The number of unemployed people increased by 6 thousand to 115 thousand, reflecting 4 thousand more unemployed women and 2 thousand more unemployed men. For men, the unemployment rate went up to 3.8 percent from an over 11-year low of 3.6 percent in the prior period. For women, the unemployment rate rose to 4.6 percent from 4.3 percent in the second quarter of the year.
There were 6 thousand more employed people in the third quarter, up to 2.64 million, driven by a rise in the number of employed men (+6,000) and women (+1,000). The employment rate for men remained steady at 72.2 percent, while for women fell slightly to 62.9 percent (vs 63 percent in Q3).
The labour force participation rate was at 70.4 percent in the September quarter, higher than 7.3 percent in the previous period and market expectations.
The underutilisation rate declined to 10.4 percent from 11.0 percent in Q2. It was the lowest rate since the second quarter of 2008.
Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labor cost index, increased to 2.4 percent in the third quarter of 2019 from 2.1 percent in the prior period. Public sector wages advanced 3.0 percent, the highest rate since the second quarter of 2009, and following a 2.2 percent gain in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, private sector wages rose 2.3 percent, up from 2.2 percent in the previous quarter. On a quarterly basis, wages increased by 0.8 percent, up from a 0.7 percent rise in the previous period.