The ABS Labour Force data for May shows a total of 17,900 new jobs in the nation, although all of them were part-time with full-time numbers static. The headline unemployment rate remained stable at 5.7%. However, virtually all of the reported gains in April were revised away with the previous 10,600 reduced to just 800. Jobs growth now sits at 1.9% y/y while the working population is growing at about 1.5% which is why we’ve seen Trend unemployment fall from 6.1% to 5.7% over the year.
Unfortunately the picture in Queensland continues to be a weaker one. Although the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate managed to fall slightly to 6.4% (from 6.5%) this is on the back of further job losses (down 1,700) with even more full-time jobs going (4,500). The only reason the unemployment rate has managed to drop is the decline in the Participation Rate to a level not seen since Sept 2004. Looking through the PR effect we see the Employment:Working Population measure down to 60.8 (it’s lowest since Nov 2014). The Trend data doesn’t provide any brighter notes with the Trend unemployment rate rising to 6.4% (from 6.3%…which was in turn revised up from 6.2%). Trend employment growth in the Sunshine State now stands at just 1% while the working population is increasing at 1.4% (see the second chart below).
Regional jobs data will be released next Thursday at which time we will be updating our Conus Trend Labour Force data for all the QLD regions.