Thursday, September 13

Age differences in the employment data

Today, the ABS released the detailed monthly data from the Labour Force Survey for August 2012.

Before examining the data, I should remind you that the usual caveats apply. While this data is survey data, people's labour market behaviour is affected by changes in social security arrangements. For example, in this data, there is a big drop-off  in the male 60-64 year old unemployment rate following the 1990-91 recession. This drop-off relates to changes in income support requirements.

Let's start with the unemployment rates by age ...

There is quite a bit of seasonality in this data. While the ABS does not apply a seasonal decomposition, I have ...

With each of these age series, we can drill down further by gender ... I am a little intrigued by the recent gender divergence in the 15-19 year old cohort.

And we can do something similar for participation rates ...

Are we seeing a repeat of the participation rate decline for the 15-19 year age cohort that accompanied the 1990-91 recession?

The recent drop-off in the 45-54 year old age cohort is a little worrying.

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