Employment grew by 60,900 in March, AMP Capital economist Diana Mousina said, owing to an increase of 74,500 full-time jobs throughout the month, with part-time employment falling by 13,600.
“Full-time jobs growth was particularly soft at the end of 2016, which extended into early 2017, but the latest lift in full-time jobs over the past two months are certainly encouraging – annual growth is now at 0.8 per cent,” Ms Mousina said.
“Part-time jobs are up by 2.1 per cent compared to a year ago, but this is down from recent levels.”
Public sector and construction employment over the last year have supported this growth, Ms Mousina said, with much of the recent decline in full-time employment being centred on the retail and transport industries.
Ms Mousina said the labour market was looking “healthier” than it has in recent months and that while March’s large gains appear “a little exaggerated”, this was likely due to employment catching up to the figures that leading indicators have been suggesting.
Despite the pick-up in employment, Ms Mousina said underlying inflation is expected to remain below the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target rate of 2 to 3 per cent “for some time”.
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