Two out of three ain’t too bad – we’re talking about employment


Nearly two out of three Aussies are now participating in the labour force according to the latest ABS stats released this week.

Human Resources ConceptFor 16 to 64 year-olds the ratio is nearly up to four in every five.

This is great news, but it’s also making it darned tricky to get the unemployment rate down as capacity has increased.

Not the result policy makers would have been hoping for then.

Employment was flat in June 2019, which took the annual rate of employment growth down from 2.89 per cent to 2.36 per cent.


There was a bit of mean reversion at play this month for New South Wales and Victoria after a storming run (even now NSW employment is up 47,000 over the past quarter).


Unfortunately if full employment or NAIRU is thought to be about 4½ per cent (or perhaps below) then we aren’t demonstrably getting any closer to that.

The unemployment rate increased from 5.19 per cent to 5.24 per cent this month, and is up from under 5 per cent in February 2019 to now sit at a ten-month high.


High participation and a strong rate of full-time jobs growth are both good news, but around the country and away from Sydney and Melbourne unemployment rates are often far too high to be ideal.


Hours worked decreased in June, marginally, and the trend is also decelerating.


The wrap

Overall, not much here to suggest that the unemployment rate is going to fall as desired.

Yesterday’s figures suggested that much of the increase in debt (and supposed financial stability risks) relates to Boomers taking a bit of debt into retirement.

With another soft inflation print looking to be locked in for the end of the month markets are looking for one further interest rate cut in H2 2019.


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Pete is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. Using a long term approach to building businesses, investing in equities, & owning a portfolio he achieved financial independence at the age of 33. Visit his blog

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