Queensland labour market disappoints (again)

The July labour force data released today was a mixed bag at the national level. Although (seasonally adjusted) employment dipped by 3,900 we saw the unemployment rate also dip to 5.3%. The reason…a decline in  the participation rate. The average hours worked per member of the working age population remained stable at 86.17 hours, as did the Trend unemployment rate at 5.4%. Trend employment growth now sits at 2.4% for the year.

In Queensland there was little to get excited about. Seasonally adjusted employment dipped by 1,900, participation remained unchanged, and as a result the unemployment rate lifted back up to 6.1%. On a Trend basis employment grew by 4,500 while the unemployment rate stayed at 6.1%. The Trend unemployment rate, in the past 7 months has barely moved (in a range from 6.05% to 6.16%) and the reason, despite of Trend employment growing by 11,400 in that period, is simply that population growth is at least as fast as employment growthTrend employment growth for the year has fallen in Queensland from almost 5% at the end of 2017 to just 2.2% now.

The average hours worked per member of the working age population in Queensland has also fallen, and now sits just above the national average at 86.36 hours. Any further falls next month are likely to see this measure dip below the Australia average for the first time.

Next Thursday will see the release of the regional labour force data at which time we will be updating the Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Employment Trend series for Queensland.


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