HTW revise down Cairns unemployment rate in Dec but still have the Trend heading up

Today sees the release of the Herron Todd White Cairns Watch report for February. In it we see that HTW are estimating Jan Trend unemployment in Cairns at 8.6%. The headline ABS unadjusted rate was 8.1% and our own Conus Trend came in at 7.5%.

As we’ve discussed previously, there has been some sharp differences between the HTW and Conus Trend unemployment rates in recent months. However, it’s worth noting that our own Trend value for Dec was revised slightly higher to 7.7% (from 7.6%) on the back of the Jan data and it would appear that HTW have revised their Dec number significantly lower. HTW do not explicitly specify revisions to previous months but in this month’s report Rick Carr notes that the “trend remains on the rise” to 8.6%; it would therefore seem that the HTW Trend for Dec must have been revised down from 9.0% to at least 8.5%. The net result of these revisions is that, for Dec, a 1.4% difference between the two Trend measures has been reduced to (at most) 0.8%.

Further revisions to both series are almost certain over coming months and it would not surprise me if the end result is that the data for the final months of 2014 ends up being quite close, as the series have been for the years prior to that.

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