Once again..strong jobs data; but QLD still lags

For the 4th consecutive month the Australian jobs market has grown strongly in April with the headline unemployment rate unchanged at 5.8% (despite market expectations of a reversal of last months decline with a move to 5.9%). On seasonally adjusted terms, we added 14,200 new jobs (all of which were full-time). Added to that, revisions to the previous 2 months (which were already strong) added another 4,900. The economy has added 106,400 new jobs in the first 4 months of this year; of those 78,900 were full-time positions. The Participation Rate was little changed (- 0.1). The Trend series also showed growth of 17,200 jobs with strong revisions to previous months adding another 9,100. There is no doubt that these are, once again, strong numbers. It is looking likely that the peak in unemployment (which had been anticipated at around 6.4-6.5%) may in fact be as low as 6.0-6.1%; it could already have passed.
Unfortunately things in QLD are not so unambiguously positive. The headline unemployment rate in the state has increased to 6.3%, and now sits at its highest level since June last year. This comes despite 4,400 new jobs (1,100 of which were full-time). Since the start of the year QLD has added 33,300 new jobs but only 600 of those have been full-time. However, there is good news in the numbers. As we noted last month (see here) the Participation Rate in QLD has risen sharply and did so again In Apr (this time to 66.5, its highest level since Aug 2012). This is a strong sign that the labour market in the state is strengthening despite the headline figures being disappointing. To give some idea as to how significant this is, consider:
The Participation Rate nationally has barely moved this year….
Had the same held true in QLD the current PR would be 65.3 and not 66.5…
Were that true then we would currently be quoting an unemployment rate in QLD of only 4.6%!
We fully expect the headline unemployment rate in QLD to decline in coming months; either as a result of some reversal in the PR increases already seen or from continued jobs growth starting to remove some from the dole queue.

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