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Jobs Growing But Wages Still Stagnant


New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that the national economy added more jobs than expected in August, with 54,200 new jobs added to the national total.

It is the most substantial increase in nearly two years. 

It is the most substantial increase in nearly two years.

Queensland and South Australia recorded the largest drops in unemployment both falling from a 6.2 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 5.7 percent.

However, the overall uptick in labour force numbers has kept the national unemployment rate unchanged at 5.6 per cent and is likely to keep wages growth flat and limit the Reserve Bank's ability to move on rates, economists said.

Economists said the quarterly ABS data, also due out this month, is likely to show strength in a number of key industries such as construction, professional services, and health.

While employment is now increasing at an annual rate of 2.7 per cent, the participation rate, or the number of people either employed or actively looking for work, also ticked up 0.2 percentage points to 65.3 per cent - the highest level since September, 2012.

That increased labour supply is expected to weigh on wages and inflation growth. 

That increased labour supply is expected to weigh on wages and inflation growth.

"Despite the solid jobs growth, we think that we are still some way from labour market slack being eroded sufficiently to put genuine upward pressure on wages," CBA senior economist Gareth Aird said.

Australia's jobs market has seen an acceleration in full-time job creation over the past six months but wages growth has remained weak, raising concerns about an impact on consumer spending.

Economists expect wages growth will eventually accelerate as a result of continued strength in employment.

Deloitte Access Economics economist Chris Richardson described it as "good news story".

"Our wage growth will eventually pick up as well," he told AAP.


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