The July Labour Force data from the ABS this morning showed employment had grown another 114,700 in the month. While the last 2 months have seen significant recovery we should not lose sight of the fact that employment remains more than 500,000 below where we started the year. Another sharp hike in the Participation Rate (up from 64.1 to 64.7) sees the unemployment rate lift slightly to 7.5%. Hours worked per capita also lifted but are still down 5.4% from January.
In Queensland the picture is a far weaker one. Employment dipped by 3,700 (although June’s figure was revised up by almost 18,000) and on the back of a big jump up in participation (to 63.9 from 63.3, which was in turn revised up from 62.9) the unemployment rate has lifted sharply to 8.8% (up from 7.7% in June); this is the highest rate in Queensland since May 2001. Hours worked per capita also fell slightly and they are now down 7.9% from the start of the year.
The Payrolls data (see details here) is pointing to a better outlook for Queensland so we continue to expect the data to reflect this improving situation in coming months despite this very disappointing set of numbers.
Next Thursday sees the release of the regional employment data by the ABS at which time we will be updating the Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Trend series.