Jobless rate ticks higher to 3.7 per cent in October

Economists have given their verdict on the unemployment target.

Economists have given their verdict on the unemployment target. Photo: Getty

The official jobless rate lifted 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 per cent last month, as widely anticipated.

A larger-than-expected 55,000 jobs were added to the economy, based on the monthly Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force survey, from the modest 8000 employment growth in September.

The participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 67 per cent.

“With employment increasing by 55,000 people, and the number of unemployed people increasing by 28,000, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 per cent in October,” ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said.

“This was back to around where it had been in July and August.”

Forecasters had a 24,000 lift in employment pencilled in and the unemployment rate ticking higher to 3.7 per cent.

Economists have been focused on trends in the series, which has been more volatile than usual.

The statistics bureau noted that the bigger increase in employment in October followed a smaller boost in September.

“Looking over the past two months, these increases equate to average employment growth of around 31,000 people a month, which is slightly lower than the average growth of 35,000 people a month since October 2022,” Mr Jarvis said.

The jobs market has held up well as economic activity starts to wind back though slackness is starting to emerge as a consequence of higher interest rates.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is expecting the unemployment rate to average around 3.8 per cent in the December quarter before drifting up gradually to 4.3 per cent by mid 2025.


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