Another solid rise in employment is likely when the latest jobs figures are released this week, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough to lower the unemployment rate.
The jobless rate has already dropped for six consecutive months, reaching 5.5 per cent in April.
For Thursday’s May figures, forecasts centre on it remaining at 5.5 per cent, although they range from a drop to 5.3 per cent to a rise to 5.7 per cent.
The number of people employed is expected to rise by 30,000 in May compared to a month earlier, although there again there is a wide range of expectations, from a 60,000 rise to a 19,000 decline.
Buoyant job advertising figures and business conditions reaching yet another record indicate there is still strong demand for workers, and suggest any delayed impact from the JobKeeper wage subsidy ending in March is likely to be limited.
Just hours before the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases its labour force report, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe will address the Australian Farm Institute Conference in Toowoomba, Queensland.
Interest rate inertia
It will be Dr Lowe’s first public appearance since March and his speech – Recovery to Expansion – will provide an opportunity for him to give his view on how the economy is now fairing after last year’s recession.
Recent appearances of his deputy, Guy Debelle, and assistant governor, Christopher Kent, have stuck to the line that the cash rate will remain at a record low until inflation is sustainably within the two and three per cent target, an event that is unlikely to occur until 2024 at the earliest.
Much the same can be expected when the minutes of the RBA’s June 1 monthly board meeting are released on Tuesday.
However, the minutes may provide greater detail of how views are forming on Australia’s booming housing market and what it may mean for any future lending restrictions, if needed.
The ABS will also release its residential property price index for the March quarter on Tuesday, but a series that is somewhat dated by the monthly CoreLogic home value index that has shown house price rising at a rapid clip across the country.
Meanwhile, Australia’s stock market is closed on Monday for the Queen’s Birthday public holiday in most parts of the country.
At this stage, the market looks set for a strong start on Tuesday with share futures rising 46 points or 0.62 per cent to 7357.