Today saw the release of the ABS Labour Force data for April and it came in well above market expectations. Total employment (seasonally adjusted) rose 37,400 (expected +4-5,000) with the headline unemployment rate falling to 5.7% (from 5.9%). Unlike March, when the gains all came in the full-time sector, April saw full-time jobs drop 11,600. Nevertheless, full-time positions are up over 100,000 in the past 6 months. On the less volatile (and preferred) Trend measure we saw 19,900 new jobs with March data revised stronger. In the past 6 months the Trend series shows 120,000 new positions.
In Queensland the headline, seasonally adjusted, unemployment rate remained stuck at 6.3% (and the Trend at 6.4%) despite some good jobs growth; the reason being a Participation Rate that moved to its highest level in a year. Seasonally adjusted jobs were up 14,500 (with March revised up to +32,600 from +28,800) although, like at the national level, full-time positions dipped by 800. The Trend series shows an increase in employment of 6,600 after March was revised up to +6,800 (from +4,400). In the past 6 months Trend jobs are up by 31,100; which is the strongest period of jobs growth in Queensland since Dec 2015 (see second chart below).