Aussie Dollar (AUD/USD) Slides as January Unemployment Rate Dips to 5.7%

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released better-than-expected unemployment rate and employment change numbers for the month of January. According to ABS figures, released today, the Australian unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped by 0.1 percent to 5.7 percent.

The Australian economy added a total of 13,500 jobs in January, however, part-time employment also increased by 58,000, “This was the fourth consecutive month of increasing full-time employment, after eight consecutive decreases earlier in 2016.,“ said the ABS.

Compared with the same time period last year, the ABS said there are now an additional 129,800 Australians working part-time jobs.

Bruce Hockman, General Manager of the Macroeconomic Statistics Division at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said "strong growth" is being observed in both part-time and full-time employment in recent months.

While the jobs and unemployment figures were overly positive, Australia’s currency did not react well to the ABS report. Prior to the ABS release, the Australian dollar was trading at a 3-month high of 0.77322 against the U.S. dollar, but in the minutes following the release, the AUD began to sell-off.

Twenty minutes after the news, around 7:50 p.m. EST, the Aussie dollar was trading as low as 0.77096 (-0.29 percent):

ABS building photo by Global Panorama

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