MENU

Australian jobless number hits lowest in several years

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its latest job numbers for the month of July 2018.

According to the seasonally adjusted numbers, the net number of people employed reduced by 3,900, reaching a total of 12.575 million Australians now employed.

There was a pleasing increase of 19,300 full-time employment to 8,587,500 and part-time employment decreased by 23,200 to 3,987,700.

Thankfully, the number of unemployed people looking for work decreased by 5,700 to 706,000. This resulted in the unemployment rate improving to 5.3%. It’s funny how statistics can work sometimes.

All of the employment numbers don’t always work in tandem because of Australia’s growing population. The participation rate decreased by 0.2% to 65.5%.

The seasonally-adjusted monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 4 million hours, staying at roughly 1.75 billion hours.

So what?

Although the unemployment rate decreased, the actual number of Australians employed also decreased. I don’t think this is a great sign. One month isn’t bad, but if decreasing numbers of Australians employed becomes a trend then it could point to something more worrying.

It’s no secret that many Aussies are doing it tough at the moment. Household budgets are tight and debt is at very, very high levels.

But, the difference between a severe recession and a slight economic dip is most Australians remaining employed. If the unemployment rate suddenly jumped up that could lead to a big uptick in mortgage defaults for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ). Australia currently has a very healthy employment rate, let’s hope it stays that way.

We can see how healthy the current economy is with the impressive result for consumer-facing businesses such as Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) and JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH).

However, if a recession does happen in the future, driven by Australia’s indebtedness, this top share could be a great one to own and could generate even more profit in rough times.

The best dividend stock to buy in August

You might not know this market leader's name, but it's rapidly expanding into a highly profitable niche market here in Australia. Even better, the shares boast a strong, fully franked dividend that should balloon in the years to come. In other words, we're looking at the holy grail of incredible long-term growth potential AND income you can watch accruing in your account in real time!

Simply click here to grab your FREE copy of this up-to-the-minute research report on our #1 dividend share recommendation now.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The 5 mining stocks we’re recommending in 2019…

For decades, Australian mining companies have minted money for individual investors like you and me. But if you believe the pundits and talking heads on TV, those days are long gone. Finito! Behind us forever…

We say nothing could be further from the truth. To earn the really massive returns, you’ve got to fish where others aren’t fishing—and the mining sector could be primed for a resurgence. That’s why top Motley Fool analysts just revealed their exciting new research on 5 ASX miners they believe could help you profit in 2019 and beyond…

Including:

The best way we see to play the global zinc shortage… Our #1 favourite large-cap miner (hint: it’s not BHP)… one early-stage gold miner we think could hit the motherlode… Plus two more surprising companies you probably haven’t heard of yet!

For free access to our brand-new research, simply click here or the link below. But be warned, this research is available free for a limited time only, and we reserve the right to withdraw it at any time.

Click here for your FREE report!