Cairns Post still trying to make sense of raw ABS data

Friday’s article from the Cairns Post (see here) on the regional jobs data makes it clear that they still haven’t got a grasp of how unreliable the raw ABS data is. The article reports a “bizarre situation” where the number employed a year ago is higher than the number employed now and yet the unemployment rate is lower. Given that this observation relates to the unadjusted ABS data, and given the fall in the Participation Rate which has been ongoing for some time, there is nothing “bizarre” about this at all.

Indeed the only bizarre thing we can see is the Post’s continued insistence on focusing on data which is so volatile as to be virtually useless as an indicator.

The Conus Trend data shows trend employment up 400 from a year ago, trend unemployment rate down 1% to 7.5%, and Participation down 2% to 61.7%; nothing bizarre there.

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