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Forex

Australia’s Unemployment Rate Nears Three-Year Low

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Australia’s official unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6 per cent, despite the Bureau of Statistics estimating the loss of 3,900 jobs last month.

The headline jobless rate is now at its lowest level since the Coalition formed government under Tony Abbott’s leadership in September 2013.

The seemingly contradictory result stems from a steep fall in the proportion of the adult population in work or looking for it – the participation rate – from 64.9 to 64.7 per cent in August.

The decline in the number of people working also saw a fall in monthly hours worked, which eased by 3.9 million to 1,656 million hours.

That is despite the Bureau of Statistics saying that the census data collection would have added to hours worked last month.

“Of the majority of the persons who were employed for the census, most already had another job, but worked more hours during the month,” explained the program manager of the ABS Labour and Income Branch, Jacqui Jones.

Capital Economics has estimated that the census may still have boosted the employment numbers by around 10,000, meaning the fall in jobs was quite a bit bigger than it looked.

There was some good news in the seasonally adjusted data’s detail, however, with an estimated 11,500 full-time positions added, while it was 15,400 part-time jobs that were lost.

Although, Capital Economics said that figure is also likely to have been skewed by the 49,000 people temporarily employed to work on the census in August.

Because many of those people had existing part-time jobs, the extra census work would have pushed some into the category of being employed full-time.

ABS says trend of part-time jobs, underemployment continues

However, the less volatile trend figures, which are preferred by the ABS and most economists, show that the shift towards part-time employment is continuing.

“The latest labour force release shows continued strength in part-time employment growth, with the majority coming from increasing male part-time employment,” Ms Jones said.

Since December 2015, there are now around 105,300 more persons working part-time, compared with a 21,500 decrease in those working full-time.”
This rise in part-time work is also showing through in the underemployment rate, with a 0.3-percentage-point rise to 8.7 per cent of the workforce who would like more hours of work than they are currently performing.

That has put the quarterly labour force underutilisation rate – which combines those unemployed with those who are not getting as much work as they want – at 14.3 per cent, up 0.1 of a percentage point.

Commonwealth Bank economist Gareth Aird said the underemployment rate is now at a record high, which explains a few underperforming aspects of Australia’s economy.

“This indicates that there is plenty of spare capacity in the labour market,” he observed.

“It underpins both incredibly weak wages growth and below target inflation.”

The trend unemployment figure showed a steady labour market, with the jobless rate stuck at 5.7 per cent.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were typically expecting unemployment to remain steady at 5.7 per cent, with around 15,000 jobs added.

The Australian dollar dropped around 0.2 of a cent to 74.6 US cents shortly after the 11:30am (AEST) data release, with the disappointing detail outweighing the headline drop in the unemployment rate.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Naira

Naira Trades at N737/$ on Black Market Amid Scarcity, Campaign Activities

The Nigerian Naira depreciated to N737 against the United States Dollar at the parallel market, popularly known as the black market, on Thursday following the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) decision to lift the ban on campaign activity.

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Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

The Nigerian Naira depreciated to N737 against the United States Dollar at the parallel market, popularly known as the black market, on Thursday following the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) decision to lift the ban on campaign activity.

Checks by Investors King showed that persistent dollar demand by politicians amid scarcity are two main factors impacting the exchange rate on the black market.

The President, Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, disclosed that elections, loss of confidence, and the force of demand and supply are what is driving the market at the moment. 

“It is a market where demand and supply determine the price. Do not forget that election years are associated with foreign exchange volatility”, he noted. 

A parallel market operator our correspondent spoke to in Abuja on Thursday evening quoted Naira at N737 to a dollar. This was different from what was quoted in the morning. The dollar was sold for N735 in the morning of the same day. 

Abba Muhammed said he would buy dollars at the rate of N733 and sell at N737. It could be recalled that the dollar was sold at N728 on Wednesday. 

Investors King understands that dollar was traded at N707 to a dollar at the beginning of September. This represents a difference of N30 (4.2 percent). 

On the other hand, the dollar to naira exchange was significantly stable at the Importer and Exporter (I&E) Window at N430 to one dollar. 

It is widely believed that political activities leading to the next year’s elections will further decrease the value of the naira against the dollar. Analysts opined that politicians will scramble to stack dollars ahead of the 2023 elections. 

The electoral commission has fixed the 26th of February and 11th of March for the 2023 general elections. 

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s forex reserves barely stood above $39 billion on Thursday which was a drop of about

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Pound

Why Pounds Sterling Plunged to a 37-Year Low

Global economic uncertainty amid the decision to cut tax by over 50% despite the rising inflation rate has plunged the Pounds Sterling to a 37-year low against the United States Dollar on Monday.

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Global economic uncertainty amid the decision to cut tax by over 50% despite the rising inflation rate has plunged the Pounds Sterling to a 37-year low against the United States Dollar on Monday.

On Friday, the new U.K. Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng announced the biggest tax cuts in 50 years and on Monday said he will keep cutting taxes to put money in the pocket of the people, support businesses and grow the economy, Investors King understands.

This, he planned to achieve by reducing government revenue via tax and simultaneously increase the money circulation despite the country’s 9.9% inflation rate in August.

He argued that increased growth would eventually compensate for the drop in revenue in the long term. He further stated that the almost £45 billion expected to be cut off from the nation’s tax revenue through 2027 under his policy would “turn the vicious cycle of stagnation into a virtuous cycle of growth”.

“We need a new approach for a new era, focused on growth,” he stated.

Global currency traders immediately started relinquishing their holdings of the Pounds Sterling for the United States Dollar and other currencies to avoid impending doom expected to hit the British Pound in the days ahead.

It is impossible to grow the economy as predicted by Kwarteng when prices of crude oil and other commodities remained high due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Also, with the United States Dollar trading at 1.1031 to the Pounds Sterling after plunging to 1.03325 on Monday, the cost of importing goods from the United States and buying goods quoted in U.S. Dollars will impact whatever money the Chancellor plans to put in the pocket of British people.

Similarly, exports from the United Kingdom would be cheaper for holders of foreign currencies and affect the profit of export-dependent businesses.

Basically, global investors are worried external factors would disrupt U.K policy given the current global happenings. Experts have started predicting that inflation could jump above 10.1% recorded in July, except the Bank of England called an emergency meeting ahead of the scheduled November 3 policy meeting to raise interest rates to curb jump in inflation predicted to result from Kwarteng policy.

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eNaira

More Nigerians Embraces E-Naira Mobile Application, Nears 1 Million Downloads

E-Naira Mobile Application has so far recorded 905,588 downloads, with 282,600 active users. 

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E-Naira Mobile Application has so far recorded 905,588 downloads, with 282,600 active users. 

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefile declared yesterday at the CBN headquarters in Abuja. The CBN governor said more Nigerians are gradually embracing the eNaira wallet. 

It could be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched eNaira in October 2021 as a digital form of Naira which can be used just like cash. The eNaira is equal in value to the paper naira.

E-Naira clearly differs from cryptocurrency because it is issued by a central authority, regulated and subject to banking laws. 

According to the CBN governor, about 1.5 million transactions worth over N3.484 billion has been carried out on eNaira wallets. 

A partial breakdown shows that customers-to-banks transactions have reached 78,115 transactions with a monetary worth of about N1 billion while banks to customers transactions stood at 90,760 with monetary worth of N945 million. 

Furthermore, customers-to-customers transactions stood at 35,800 with a capital value of N480 million while customer-to-merchant transactions have reached 171,000 transactions with a worth of more than N387 million.

Meanwhile, the CBN governor added that the introduction of the USSD short code to access eNaira has further driven its adoption. In August 2022, the central bank introduced a short code *997# as a supplementary service for the eNaira. 

Emefiele stated that 13,136 e-Naira wallets have been created through the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD). He declared that the apex bank is happy with the growth of eNaira while the bank expects the number to rise exponentially in the coming months. 

Nigeria is the first country in Africa to launch a digital currency. According to the Central Bank, a digital naira is aimed to drive inclusion, digital economy and the cashless policy of the central bank. 

Investors King learnt that other countries which have a digital currency include China, Bahamas and Jamaica. 

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