Jobs data suggests improvement continues

After the stellar jobs numbers last month (at least, when considering the seasonally adjusted data…see commentary here) it came as no surprise to see a less remarkable set of figures today for June. The headline employment data saw an increase of 7,300 after May was revised slightly lower to +40,000. This was rather better than the market had been expecting and is particularly encouraging when re realise that full time positions rose by 24,500. There are, therefore, signs of firms converting some part time positions to full time; full time jobs are up almost 40,000 in the past 2 months.

The headline unemployment rate in June was 6.0%, which although up from May’s 5.9% was lower than expected since May had been revised down from 6.0%. The Trend shows that the unemployment rate is actually falling slightly, and slowly, as the chart below demonstrates.

In QLD , despite a fall in seasonally adjusted employment (not surprising after the extraordinarily strong May number), the headline unemployment rate fell to 6.1% (from an unrevised 6.3%). The reason was a fall in Participation to 65.3.

As the second chart makes clear, Trend employment growth is keeping pace with work force increases (indeed marginally faster) and as a result the Trend unemployment rate has been very gradually declining in recent months. June saw the Trend unemployment rate down to 6.3% after May was revised down to 6.4%. Trend employment growth is running at about 4,700 per month this year; up from 600 a month last year.

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