The labour market in Australia worsened in January, even falling far beyond gloomy predictions by economists. The economy lost 12,200 jobs in the period, versus expectations of a 5,000 drop according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose from 6.1 per cent to 6.4 per cent, versus expectations of a rise to 6.2 per cent.
There was one bright spot, however, with the number of jobs added to the economy in December revised upwards from 37,400 to 42,300.
The results in December had provoked comment as an improving jobs picture seemed incongruous with a slowdown in the economy. Methodological changes over recent months have raised question marks over the accuracy of the data, and has prompted the ABS to launch an independent review of the changes and make several revisions to previously published data in recent months.