Yet another month of employment growth, this time up a seasonally adjusted +16,000 to 12,453,500, to make it 16 gains in a row, which is a record for the Australian economy.
Annual employment growth remained very strong at +403,000 or +3.35 per cent, but this month there was a wild swing towards part-time work, which stripped the positive sheen off the result.
By far and away the most jobs were added in Queensland in the month at +19,700, although this month’s gains were of the part-time vintage.
Queensland’s economy added +118,000 jobs over the past year, which represents a huge rate of statewide employment growth at +5 per cent, with +91,600 of those being full-time positions.
The participation rate was down a notch in January, but the trend has been up to around the highest level in 7 years, with Queensland being one of the states to see a marked lift in recent times.
Unemployment rate flattening
The unemployment rate ticked down a notch to 5.49 per cent, but the downtrend seems to have lost its way a bit.
At the state level, New South Wales and to a lesser extent Victoria look to be in reasonably good nick from an unemployment rate perspective, but Tasmania clearly wins the most improved mantle as the state’s mini-boom continues.
Finally the trend annual change in hours worked also slowed to +2.7 per cent — another softer indicator, reflecting more part-time roles and plenty of slack in the labour force.
Not a bad headline result but softer underlying figures, and the unemployment rate at ~5.5 per cent looks too high to be associated with significant wage pressures.
It’s only one month of figures, of course, but this may herald a looming slowdown in the very high rate of employment growth seen in 2017.
Subscribe & don’t miss a single episode of michael yardney’s podcast
Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.
Need help listening to michael yardney’s podcast from your phone or tablet?
We have created easy to follow instructions for you whether you're on iPhone / iPad or an Android device.
Prefer to subscribe via email?
Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.