ABS job vacancies fall

The ABS released its quarterly job vacancies report and for the three months to May and the results are below:

MAY KEY FIGURES

May 2012
Feb 2012 to May 2012
May 2011 to May 2012
‘000
% change
% change

Trend Estimates
Private sector
158.6
-2.6
-5.8
Public sector
16.1
-3.1
-9.2
Private and public sectors
174.7
-2.6
-6.1

Here’s a chart by sector:

That’s a fall in just about everything but construction and education. The ABS unemployment figure would have bounced to around 5.8% in the latter part of last year and early this year had the participation rate not fallen. It appears that growth in the jobs market is weaker this year than it was last, so unless we see more falls in the participation rate, and all things being equal, unemployment must climb ahead, assuming there is sense in the ABS figures.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. It appears the public sector purge in Queensland shows no sign of ending quickly.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/newman-government-draft-directive-submitted-to-unions-claims-public-servants-whose-positions-are-abolished-will-be-retrenched-if-another-job-can-not-be-found-in-six-months/story-e6freoof-1226410462641

    I’m not sure if it is reflected in the ABS figures yet, but word on the street is that Brisbane is awash with willing applicants.

      • “…and one wonders just what ‘skills’?”

        Ah, ya know…..surfing, fishing, sunbaking, chucking shrimp on barbies……

        Oughta be in strong demand at Mt. Tom Price, wouldn’t they?

      • Well actually I’m not sure the “public servant” thing is the whole story. My understanding is that there are many hidden contractors in this, not just those 20,000 “policy officers”.

        From what I have heard it isn’t just government employees but a huge carve out of government expenditure. This will mean, all though likely unreported, that many businesses that have government as a major client will also suffer.

        Brisbane isn’t like Sydney or Melbourne, it really isn’t that diverse in terms of business. If the government shuts off supply, even for a few weeks, we are likely to see a significant private sector effect.

        I’m not on the government pulse as I used to be, but the info am receiving from a couple of contacts is that the budget cuts are far greater than are being reported.

    • Seeing as my understanding of the ABS definition of employed is “has worked for at least 1 hour in the last month”, I’d say it’d take a while (at least a month) for the cuts to filter through, more if they are staggered redundancies.

      Wonder how gardening leave is treated by ABS? Is being on gardenening leave counted as being employed?