The Australian Dollar had a much better day than its cricketers on Thursday, though few people would bet against a reversal of the fortunes of both by next Monday. It has now enjoyed four consecutive days of gains and there’ll be huge sighs of relief from those who observed the squeeze in the Kiwi Dollar on Monday and thought it might be prudent to scale back their Aussie shorts too. Having jumped from USD0.7630 to 0.7668 on publication of the latest jobs report, the AUD then managed to hold on to these gains for the next 18 hours, closing in New York around 0.7670.
To recap the numbers, consensus estimates were for a 19,000 increase in employment with the jobless rate steady at 5.4%. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), employment actually jumped by 61,600 to 12.4 million in November. It was the largest monthly increase since October 2015, whilst the previous month’s figure of +3,700, was also revised up to show a gain of 7,800.
The figures are arguably not quite as good as they look. Every month the sample of the population in the survey is rotated and it appears the incoming group may have had higher levels of employment than those who left the survey. Nevertheless, the rest of the report was very strong indeed. Full-time employment jumped by 41,900 to 8.5 million, beating a 19,700 increase in part-time employment which rose to 3.9 million. Over the last 12 months, full-time employment has increased by 304,600, with a 78,700 increase in part-time employment. Combining the two, total employment has increased by a huge 383,300 whilst the total number of hours worked by all Australians is up by 9.8 million hours, or 0.6%, to 1.7409 billion hours.
The AUD opens in Asia this Friday at USD0.7675 with the AUD/NZD cross up almost exactly a cent from yesterday morning at 1.0970.