|Level change (000) Y/Y||32,800||42,000|
|Level change (000) Q/Q||3,200||18,000||17,400|
The unadjusted employment barometer posted a 32,800 or 0.8 percent increase on the year last quarter after an unrevised 42,000 annual rise in the previous period. Overall employment stood at 4.225 million.
The first quarter advance was led by the tertiary sector where headcount was up 1.0 percent. However, vacancies were down 6.0 percent and the employment outlook indicator dipped 1.5 percent. Indeed, the seasonally adjusted data showed the number of workers up just 3,200 versus the October-December period (where the rise was revised down to 17,400).
Today's report is consistent with a range of other economic indicators all pointing to a very weak first quarter for real GDP.
Employment data counts the number of paid employees working part-time or full-time in the nation's business and government establishments. The data include employee jobs, self-employed jobs, apprentices and business owners. The definition covers all employment units in which a minimum of 20 hours per week are accomplished.
The employment data give a comprehensive report on how many people have jobs. These numbers are the best way to gauge the current state as well as the future direction of the economy. Employment data are categorized by sectors. This sector data can go a long way in helping investors determine in which economic sectors they intend to invest. By tracking the jobs data, investors can sense the degree of tightness in the job market. If employment is tight it is a good bet that interest rates will rise and bond and stock prices will fall. In contrast, when job growth is slow or negative, then interest rates are likely to decline - boosting up bond and stock prices in the process.
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