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By Pete Wargent

Underemployment rate just starting to rise

Nothing too much wrong with the labour force figures for March, with the economy adding another +53,000 jobs, taking employment to a record high of 13.88 million.

Total Employed Australia 14 April

The unemployment rate held steady at 3.52 per cent.

Unemployment Rate 14 April

Of course, immigration is now picking up apace, and the labour force won't stay so tight for too much longer.
Indeed, the ABS reported that 142,580 international students arrived in the month of February alone.
David Scutt 14 April
This will mean that wages growth has peaked, and slack will begin to show up in the labour force in due course.
Indeed although the underemployment rate is still tight, it rose from 5.84 per cent to a 13-month high of 6.22 per cent in March.
Underemployment Rate 14 April
Monthly hours worked also decreased, but these were resilient numbers that point towards a more likely soft landing ahead.
Meanwhile, the labour supply is increasing rapidly.
Total Arrivals And Departure

Not a bad set of figures, overall, but people need to remember that the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator.

And with many builder and developer firms collapsing of late, and engineering and financial services layoffs beginning, the only way is up from here for unemployment.

Detailed analysis from James Foster here:

With over 142,500 international students arriving in February - and more to follow in March - this was the queue outside the Bank of China in Melbourne with a huge conga line of students waiting to open bank accounts.

That's your leading indicator: labour supply will be plentiful in due course.

About Pete Wargent Pete is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. Using a long term approach to building businesses, investing in equities, & owning a portfolio he achieved financial independence at the age of 33. Visit his blog
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