Thursday, May 10

A pleasant employment surprise

Today's labour force statistics were an up-side surprise. Two trends are clear: the unemployment rate has been falling since October 2011 and the number of people in employment has been rising since October 2011.

In the last two prints, growth in hours worked has out-stripped growth in the number employed.

The employed to population ratio may be turning a corner ...

It is a bit hard to tell what the participation rate is doing. It might be falling. It might be going nowhere. And it might just be turning a corner.

Today's print shows that the net growth in jobs in April was in the part-time sector. In round terms, the number of people employed in full time jobs declined by 11,000 people. The number of people in part time jobs increased by 26,000 people.

On a state-by-state basis, there is a world of difference between Tasmania and Western Australia. Tasmania looks like it might be in a recession. Western Australia is going gangbusters.

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