The New Zealand and Australian job markets will be compared
this week as both countries release their official
unemployment and employment rates.
Statistics New Zealand will release the latest data from this
country this morning,
with economists expecting a strong 1.6% rise in employment
growth, its highest rise since December 2011. By next month,
BNZ markets economist Stephen Toplis expects the annual
employment growth to reach 3%.
Recent data suggests while the labour market is tightening,
there is some way to go before it becomes sufficiently tight
to create wage pressure.
At the end of June, the unemployment rate had fallen to 6.4%
from a peak of 7.3% in September last year. It was on a
downward trajectory but some way from reflecting full
employment, Mr Toplis said.
The BNZ was forecasting unemployment to be 6.5% for the three
months ended September and an unchanged participation rate,
New Zealand's wage data will also be released this morning,
and is expected to show a 0.5% rise in the private sector
salary and wage rates index.
Australia's jobless rate is expected to drift higher, despite
the recent pick-up in economic data and improvement in
consumer and business confidence.
The unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 5.7% from 5.6%
when official labour force figures for October are released
tomorrow, according to an AAP survey of 15 economists.
The number of people with jobs is expected to rise by 5000
while the participation rate - the percentage of the
working-age population either in work or looking for a job -
is expected to remain at 64.9%.
''Although there has been a recent improvement in business
and consumer confidence, it's still too early for that
sentiment to have filtered into the economy,'' BlackRock head
of Australian fixed income Steve Miller said.
''It's quite clear that there has been a strong bounce in
business and consumer confidence post election, but I think
it's probably too early for that to have fed into the
"We're seeing some promising occurrences in the housing
market but household spending remains subdued, business
investment outside of mining remains subdued, mining is at a
peak and all of those things suggest to me that growth is
going to be below trend for an extended period.
''Australia is still growing below trend, and if we're still
growing below trend, employment growth is generally weaker
and the unemployment rate should generally drift higher.''
Mr Miller expected unemployment to reach 6% in the first half