The labour market was tighter than expected in June, largely reflecting sizeable revisions to the May (and earlier) data brought about by a comprehensive review based on new census information. Unadjusted joblessness declined 5,651 or 3.9 percent to 139,127 which reduced the unemployment rate from a downwardly revised 3.2 percent in mid-quarter to 3.1 percent. However, seasonally adjusted the drop was only 200 or 0.2 percent which left the adjusted rate steady at May's downwardly revised 3.3 percent.
Seasonally adjusted vacancies rose 28 (0.3 percent) on the month and were up 782 (7.5 percent) on the year.
Overall the signs are that the jobs market has stabilised but companies remain cautious about adding to headcount.
The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. The monthly report provides both raw and seasonally adjusted data; the latter are the more important for identifying short-term trends.
Like the employment data, unemployment data help 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.