The labour force data for August (released this morning) showed an increase of 17,400 jobs seasonally adjusted, against expectations of about 6,000. In addition, the strong growth last month was revised higher by an additional 1,300. Full-time jobs led the way, up 11,500.
With the Participation Rate falling slightly (to 65.0), the headline unemployment rate has come off the 13 year high seen last month to be at 6.2% in August.
However, before we get too excited, it is worth noting that the Trend series sees the unemployment rate stuck at 6.2% with Trend employment growth of 15,300 the slowest pace this year.
Queensland saw an extra 11,200 jobs added (seasonally adjusted) with 8,200 of those full-time positions. An increase in the Participation Rate to 65.5 saw the headline unemployment rate remain static at 6.5%. However, looking through the participation impact on the unemployment rate we see the employment:working population ratio edge higher again to 61.3. The Trend series for Queensland showed employment up 3,100, which was the slowest rate of employment growth this year and the unemployment rate stable at 6.4%.
As the second graph below shows, employment growth in Queensland is still just about keeping up with the growth in the working population. Until we see employment growth speeding up we are unlikely to see any meaningful drop in the state’s unemployment rate.