We have today returned from a trip up to Cape York and have now had time to look at the employment data for May released during our absence.
The data for QLD showed a decline in the headline unemployment rate to 6.2% (from 6.3%) with a very encouraging increase of 18,200 full-time positions (82% of all full-time positions created in the nation for the month). The only disappointments in the data were yet another decline in the Participation Rate (down to 66.3 from 66.5) and an increase in the ABS Trend unemployment rate to 6.3% (from 6.2%).
When we look at the data for Cairns there is nothing but good news which builds on the improvements seen in last months data (see our commentary here). The raw, unadjusted ABS data is of little use but when we consider the Conus Trend series the story is a good one. Trend employment increased by 1.200 with previous months also revised higher; this is the 3rd consecutive monthly increase. Trend unemployment fell by 300 (with previous months also revised sharply lower). The Trend unemployment rate fell to 7.1% (from a downwardly revised 7.5% in April) which was made all the more impressive by the fact that Trend Participation rose to 61.9% (from an upwardly revised 61.7% last month).