Unemployment rises a touch

ABS Labour Force data is out and shows a reversal of the January bounce, with a loss of 15,400 jobs and a small rise in the unemployment rate to 5.2% :

Trend
Employed persons (‘000)
11 443.6
11 444.6
1.1
0.1
%
Unemployed persons (‘000)
626.8
625.0
-1.7
4.5
%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.2
5.2
0.0
pts
0.2
pts
Participation rate (%)
65.3
65.2
-0.1
pts
-0.6
pts
Seasonally Adjusted
Employed persons (‘000)
11 459.5
11 444.0
-15.4
0.2
%
Unemployed persons (‘000)
615.8
632.2
16.4
4.8
%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.1
5.2
0.1
pts
0.2
pts
Participation rate (%)
65.3
65.2
-0.1
pts
-0.5
pts

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)

  • Employment decreased 15,400 (0.1%) to 11,444,000. Full-time employment was steady at 8,063,600 and part-time employment decreased 15,400 persons to 3,380,400.
  • Unemployment increased 16,400 (2.7%) to 632,200. The number of persons looking for part-time work increased 5,600 to 181,200 and the number of persons looking for full-time work increased 10,800 to 451,000.
  • The unemployment rate increased 0.1 pts to 5.2%. The male unemployment rate increased 0.2 pts to 5.1% and the female unemployment rate increased 0.1 pts to 5.4%.
  • The participation rate decreased 0.1 pts to 65.2%.
  • Aggregate monthly hours worked increased 21.6 million hours to 1,616.6 million hours.
More to come…

Comments

  1. Rumplestatskin

    Trend. Trend. Trend. It is the only number worthy of consideration in these releases. And it is basically flat for 6 months.

    The question is, will we plod along at this rate, which allows some structural changes without massive social upheaval, or will the trend break out in 2012 one way or another. The RBA has it’s bets on the plodding along path. I would say they might be right for a while still (with the appropriate caveats).

      • That Zappone guy at Fairfax has jumped all over it.

        The headline at The Age now screams “Jobless rate goes up”

      • Rumplestatskin

        For me the interesting parts of the release are

        Total hours worked?

        The underemployment/underutilisation rate?

        Full time v part time.

        Participation rate.

        But, you were very fast today 🙂 Well done.

    • the trend is the slowest rate of employment growth since the 90’s recession. not too sure thats a trend the RBA will be to comfortable with as the risks are clearly to the downside.

      • i reckon they saw it yesterday with the huge GDP miss. this UE miss just backs it up. the reaction in the AUD and stock market rallying on a bad employment number was telling. down will go interest rates, down goes the AUD and the stock market that will be bouyed by a lowering of both.

      • They’ll see that as adjustment for the coming jobs boom. Today UE number shows ongoing flat, downish trend. No rate cut in it that I can see. Wishful thinking by the share market.

      • rising unemplyment and decelerating GDP grwoth? the rate cuts are coming soon and the sharemarket will just bob along until monetary policy gets inline with economic reality. that is, much lower rates.

      • outsidetrader

        I’m with HnH on this one – there’s nothing in this release that will encourage the RBA to cut rates.

        Keeping the unemployment rate in the low fives despite the sort of structural adjustment that the mining boom is creating sounds like a job well done.

        Given all the real risks to the macro outlook coming from the rest of the world, the RBA is doing a good job keeping their powder dry.

      • HnH agree. The 15,000 is likely within error margin (?) in any case, steady as she goes.

        The problem is it doesn’t gel with what pervades the media at present – economic hardship, manufacturing in crisis and job losses at every turn – all we hear of. Clearly to date, few of these much discussed negatives have eventuated. So far, so good.

        Even the boom is trickier to understand – WA the only State to trend down, reporting ue around 4%, Queensland up .2 to 5.7% (if my recall is correct).

      • The 15,000 is likely within error margin (?)

        At the 95% confidence level the range is -70,000 to 39,200. Why the media reports anything but the trend is beyond me.

    • Rumple: Note that the January “blowout” number has been revised down by 4.4K as well.

  2. Yawn.

    So what happened to that blowout number last month?

    January was revised down from 11,463,900 to 11,459,500. So this month’s fall from the old January number to the Feb number is actually more like 20,000.

    Again, its all within the MoE which is like 100K or something. Not that that will stop our idiotic media reporting this new number as a “crash” in employment.

  3. I don’t know, I just don’t know, I think Roy Morgan would have something to say about this, because they say its around %9.7 unemployed and %7.9 looking for more work as they are underemployed. I think its sort of pointless to follow government states from any government these days as much of it is often politically motivated.

  4. I hope we get a state-by-state breakdown in the followup. Should make for interesting viewing.

  5. Charles Ponzi

    The news in today’s ABS labour story is that the big majority of the underemployed are happy to be so.