Australian Employment Shows Significant Troubles

Alan Penny

14 November 2019

3 min read

AU flag wrecking dollar sign

  • Australian Employment Change released, weaker than anticipated
  • Unemployment rate inches higher
  • Trade War possible culprit

During the early hours of Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the country’s employment figures for the previous month. While not normally a major announcement for global traders, the fact that this set of employment figures came in so soft will have traders looking at them more closely than usual. The market is probably equating this to a variety of external drivers, and as a result, it is garnering quite a bit of attention.

The figures

The Employment Change for the month of October showed a loss of 19,000 jobs. This was much worse than the anticipated 16,200 jobs expected to be added. It should be noted that the previous month’s figure was revised to 12,500 jobs added, from the announcement of 14,700. Adding further concerns is the Unemployment Rate which has ticked higher, coming out at 5.3% for the month. The forecast was for 5.2%, so this is sure to raise a few eyebrows.

The numbers look very bad for Australia, which is unfortunately at the mercy of global headwinds and economics.

Remember, Australia is essentially an export-led economy. This is a major issue as they only have a certain amount of control over their own currency. Beyond that, there are concerns about the housing bubble in Australia which continues to slump.

External pressures

There are external pressures that will continue to weigh upon the Australian dollar. Not the least of which will be the US/China trade war which seems to be going nowhere. The trade war situation hasn’t gotten much better, although it’s not as inflamed as it once was. That being said, the fact that Australia is losing jobs can be considered a direct correlation to the lack of exports to mainline China.

It’s very likely that the market will continue to doubt the possibility of a recovery in the Australian dollar and perhaps even some Australian stocks. That’s because the ASX is so heavily laden with commodity stocks, as miners send iron, copper, aluminum, and many other commodities around the world. If the global growth situation continues to deteriorate, especially in a scenario where it is self-induced, it’s possible that the Australian economy will continue to take it on the chin.

Even if you are not a trader of the Australian dollar or Australian stocks, you should make it a point to pay attention to these markets.

Ultimately, this is a market that is highly dependent on others around the world to create it’s strength. When the world is humming along with a strong economy, Australia is one of the main beneficiaries and is one of the first places that people will start to put money to work. That being the case, Australia is an excellent proxy for seeing how the world is performing from an economic standpoint and so, even if you are not a trader of the Australian dollar or Australian stocks, you should definitely pay attention to these markets.

Written By
Alan Penny

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