Saturday, June 17

Jobs data

This week the ABS released the May print of the Labour Force Survey. It was good news for the economy. And this is not surprising, given the improving terms of trade and growth in gross national income (GNI) (see here).

The headline statistics:
  • Employment increased 42,000 to 12,152,600. Full-time employment increased 52,100 to 8,287,400 and part-time employment decreased 10,100 to 3,865,200
  • Unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 pts to 5.5%
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 31.1 million hours (1.87%) to 1,695.3 million hours.

One of the indicators I use for the health of the economy is the gender difference in the unemployment rate. Since the 1990s, when things are going well, the male rate is below the female rate. In times of trouble, the female rate is below the male rate. Let's look at the long run, and the most recent period. We can see the male rate slipping below the female rate, just as it did in the pre-GFC mining-boom period, and again in 2010 (aligning with the previous peaks in the terms of trade).

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