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James Hyerczyk

The Australian Dollar is trading higher shortly after the release of a stronger-than-expected Employment Change report. The move is reversing earlier losses. The Unemployment Rate came in as expected.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Employment Change in March showed the economy added 25.7K new jobs versus an estimate of 15.2K. This was also well above the February number at 4.6K. The Unemployment Rate was 5.0%, the same as the forecast. This was up slightly from the previously reported 4.9%.

At 01:37 GMT, the AUD/USD is trading .7184, up 0.0005 or +0.08%.

The report also revealed:

Fulltime Employment in March rose 48.3K versus a prior reading of -7.3K and the participation rate increased to 65.7% from 65.6% consensus and prior. The Part Time Employment Change was -22.6K versus 11.9K prior.

The Reserve Bank is paying close attention to the job market as it considers its next policy move.

Ahead of the report, TD Securities said:

“After our “flat” February print materialized (+5K) we look for a ‘trend’ employment increase of +17K in March. Combined job ads points to ongoing 2-1/4%/y employment growth. When +17k/m is combined with a likely unchanged participation rate of 65.6%, the unemployment rate could pop back to 5.0%, in line with the RBA projection of 5% over 2019 (mkt 5%).”

Westpac added, “There will be intense interest in Australia’s labor force data as the RBA has made clear that an uptrend in the unemployment rate would open the door to a rate cut. After the modest 5K rise in February, consensus for March is 15K. Wespac looks for 8K. This would keep the annual pace of jobs growth at a firm 2.3%. But if the participation rate remains at 65.6%, this would see the unemployment rate rise to 5.1% from 4.9% in February (a low since March 2011). Consensus is 5.0%.”

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