Should I pay attention to the ABS labour force data tomorrow?

The November ABS labour force data will be released tomorrow. We take a deeper look at what that actually means.
The post Should I pay attention to the ABS labour force data tomorrow? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

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This Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release the outcomes of November’s detailed labour force survey. The release of the ABS labour force data usually gains a round of attention, because the unemployment numbers it covers are a widely referenced economic indicator.

When unemployment spiked to 7.1% in June, we spoke a bit about what this can mean for markets and the economy.

What else should I look out for, besides unemployment?

In addition to covering unemployment statistics, ABS labour force data covers things like who actually is working, what they’re doing and for which industries. Details like this can potentially help create an economic roadmap for what lies ahead.

For example, if we consider how the data breaks statistics down by age, we can determine what industries are presently adequately staffed, and which might require further support in the future.

Let’s also not forget the value this information offers the government when it reviews and assesses financial initiatives such as the JobKeeper program.

Does my portfolio care about the ABS labour force data?

This is a tricky question to answer. Put simply, share markets react to these type of announcements in a ‘business as usual’ type of way — with volatility and unpredictability.

On 4 December, the US announced that its November jobs number had missed the mark, although unemployment was slightly down. The S&P 500 opened higher the following session and has continued its bumpy ride upward since.

Closing thoughts?

I personally find the the ABS labour force data to be a large stack of spreadsheets that take a very long time to download! Usually the announcements that circulate alongside the data’s release clue us all in on the highlights, so I’ll just wait for those.

But if you’re someone with the time and desire to dig into the current trends, there is a lot of information there that paints a big picture of what’s going on with Australia’s labour market.

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Motley Fool contributor Gretchen Kennedy has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post Should I pay attention to the ABS labour force data tomorrow? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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