Late last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released labour force statistics for April 2016.
The data showed that the national unemployment rate was recorded at 5.7% which was steady over the month and remains at its lowest level since September 2013.
The unemployment rate is also well down from its recent peak of 6.3%.
The data shows that the total number of employed persons has increased by 2.1% over the past year while the number of unemployed persons has fallen by -6.0%.
Looking at employment, full-time employment has increased by 1.0% over the past year while part-time employment has increased by 4.5%.
Over recent years part-time employment has fairly consistently been growing at a faster pace than full-time employment.
In fact, part-time employment now accounts for a record-high 31.5% of total employment nationally.
The ABS released data on the value of construction work done over the March 2016 quarter.
It showed that over the quarter there was $47.9 billion worth of construction work done which is -5.5% lower over the quarter and -7.7% lower year-on-year.
The value of construction work done has now fallen by -14.5% from its December 2012 peak at $56.1 billion.
Both building and engineering construction work done have fallen over the past quarter down -1.0% to $24.9 billion and -4.2% to $23.0 billion respectively.
Engineering construction work in particular has seen a substantial decline over recent years, down -33.6% from its September 2012 quarter peak at $34.7 billion.
Building activity consists of residential and non-residential construction work which were recorded at $16.6 billion and $8.4 billion respectively.
The residential segment is continuing to rise, up 1.5% over the quarter and 5.7% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, non-residential construction work has fallen by -5.5% over the quarter to be -7.2% lower year-on-year.
The value of nonresidential construction work done is now -18.6% lower than its June 2010 quarter peak of $10.3 billion.
Over the week ending May 22 there were 1,920 capital city auctions with CoreLogic collecting results for 1,765 auctions, accounting for almost 92% of all auctions held.
The final clearance rate was recorded at 68.9% down from 69.5% over the previous week.
The number of auctions increased from 1,876 over the previous week.
Last week, across Melbourne, 843 auctions were held with a clearance rate of 70.0%. Melbourne’s clearance rate fell from 71.3% across a higher 871 auctions over the previous week.
Sydney’s auction clearance rate was recorded at 73.2% across 735 auctions compared to a clearance rate of 76.2% across 647 auctions the previous week.
Across all other regions except for Tasmania auction clearance rates were higher over the past week.
Melbourne clearance rates have been at or above 70% for seven consecutive weeks and in Sydney they have been above that mark for five weeks, indicating that buyer demand in both cities remains quite strong.
Note that sales listings are based on a rolling 28 day count of unique properties that have been advertised for sale.
Relative to the same period last year, the number of new listings over the past twenty eight days is -3.6% lower on a national basis and the total volume of stock on the market is -0.9% lower.
Across the combined capital cities, new listings are -5.5% lower relative to last year, while total listings are 6.4% higher highlighting that total supply is somewhat different in capital cities and regional markets.
On a city by city basis, Brisbane (+2.0%), Adelaide (+7.3%) and Canberra (+6.9%) are seeing a higher number of new listings than a year ago.
In terms of the total stock available for sale, Melbourne (-2.3%), Hobart (-27.6%) and Canberra (-13.1%) are the only capital cities to have fewer total properties for sale than a year ago.
Nationally, new and total property listings are now at their lowest level in five weeks.
Across the combined capital cities, new listings are at their lowest level in five weeks and total listings are at their level in four weeks.
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