The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its twice annual data on average weekly earnings late last week.
The data showed that as at May 2016, the average person earned $1,160.90/week with average earnings having increased by 2.1% over the 12 months to May 2016.
Males continue to, on average, earn more than females with average weekly earnings recorded at $1,395.10 for males and $925.40 for females.
Of course because the figure is an average it reflects the fact that proportionately more females work part time than males.
Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that over 12 months to May 2016, male earnings increased by 1.9% compared to a 2.0% rise in female earnings.
The ABS released labour force data for July 2016 late last week.
According to the data, the national unemployment rate fell from 5.8% in June to 5.7% in July as an additional 26,194 jobs were created.
Over the past year, the economy has created an additional 219,839 jobs with 29,762 new full-time jobs created and 190,077 new part-time jobs created.
Full-time employment has increased by 0.4% over the year compared to a 5.2% rise in part-time employment.
This has been an ongoing trend over recent years with full-time employment growth substantially lower than part-time employment growth.
This is also reflected in the quarterly underemployment data which indicates underemployment at near record highs with many people wanting to work more hours than they currently are.
The ABS released data on the value of construction work completed over the June 2016 quarter earlier this week.
The data showed that over the quarter there was $47.4 billion worth of construction work done, which is -3.7% lower over the quarter and -10.6% lower year-on-year.
After peaking at $56.0 billion in December 2012, the value of construction work done was -15.3% lower in the June 2016 quarter.
Looking at the components, there was $26.0 billion in building work over the quarter and $21.5 billion worth of engineering work.
Building work comprises of $17.0 billion in residential work and $8.9 billion in non-residential work.
Engineering construction work was at its lowest level since September 2010 and -38.2% lower than its September 2012 peak.
Residential work done was at its highest level on record over the quarter while non-residential work rose 2.1% over the quarter and 0.4% year-on-year.
There were 1,795 capital city auctions over the week ending August 21 with CoreLogic collecting results for 1,628 auctions or almost 91% of all auctions.
Over the week the combined capital city clearance rate was recorded at 75.2%, up from 72.0% across 1,471 auctions the previous week.
The 75.2% clearance rate was the highest since the week ending 9 August 2015.
Last week, across Melbourne, 789 auctions were held with a clearance rate of 75.4%.
The number of auctions was up from 605 over the previous week and the clearance rate fell from 78.9% the previous week.
Sydney’s auction clearance rate was recorded at 84.3% across 687 auctions with the clearance rate up from 78.3% across 635 auctions over the previous week.
It was the city’s highest clearance rate since the first week of June last year.
Sydney’s auction clearance rate has been above 70% for 18 consecutive weeks while last week was the 7th consecutive week clearance rates have been above 70% in Melbourne.
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 were -3.4% lower on a national basis and the total volume of stock on the market was -0.9% lower.
Across the combined capital cities, trends are slightly different with new listings -6.6% lower relative to last year, while total listings are 4.9% higher.
On a city-by-city basis, Sydney (-20.6%), Melbourne (-9.4%) and Darwin (-25.1%) are seeing fewer new listings currently relative to a year ago.
In terms of the total stock available for sale, Melbourne (-0.8%), Hobart (-29.1%) and Canberra (-11.1%) are the only capital cities to have fewer total properties for sale than a year ago.
The number of new and total properties listed for sale has continued to trend higher over the past week as the market heads closer to Spring.
The low volume of new listings in Sydney and Melbourne coupled with the recent interest rate cuts helps to explain the recent strength in auction markets in both cities, it will be interesting to see if that strength can be maintained if new listings ramp-up as they usually do in Spring.
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