Despite reporting as “news” data released more than 2 weeks ago (the regional labour stats) The Cairns Post has still managed to get it wrong!
Today’s story is based on ABS data from Aug 14th and Herron Todd White’s Cairns Watch for August. Unfortunately when it comes to reporting the ABS (unadjsuted) and the HTW (Trend) data the Post gets itself into a muddle.
The paper states “Townsville now holds the mantle [of worst regional unemployment rate] after Herron Todd White’s Cairns Watch August report revealed unemployment had dropped from 8.2 per cent in June to 7.1 per cent in July, bucking a state trend.” In fact (as HTW quite correctly state) the ABS unadjusted rate of unemployment fell from 8.2% to 7.0%, the HTW Trend rate fell from 7.4% to 7.1%. The Post doesn’t seem to realise that you can’t simply compare one with the other.
For the record, the Conus Trend unemployment rate for Cairns fell to 7.4% in July from 7.5% in June (see our commentary at the time here).