More evidence Australia’s jobs market is weakening

By Leith van Onselen

The ABS yesterday released a new experimental series on Australia’s labour market, which examines the number of filled jobs in Australia (as opposed to the number of people in work), which suggests that the labour market is weakening:

The total number of filled jobs in Australia grew slowly in the March quarter 2019, according to new figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Filled jobs (that is, jobs with a person in them) increased by around 0.2 per cent in the quarter, and 2.8 per cent over the year, in seasonally adjusted terms.

“This slowing growth in jobs echoes the weaker growth in employment that we have been observing since September 2018,” said Bruce Hockman, Chief Economist at the ABS.

“The change in filled jobs partly reflected a drop in secondary jobs for the first time in over a year, down by 3.8 per cent in the quarter,” said Mr Hockman. “In contrast, jobs worked as a main job increased in the quarter, up by 0.5 per cent.”

“Overall, growth in filled jobs has been generally trending down since the recent high in mid-2017, when the quarterly growth was around 1 per cent,” Mr Hockman said…

The ABS has introduced a new measure of met and unmet demand in the labour market – the proportion of vacant jobs. This measure, which highlights the proportion of jobs that are vacant, remained steady at 1.7 per cent in March 2019, reflecting slowing growth in job vacancies. This measure has remained at 1.7 per cent for the past four quarters, following sustained increases over the preceding four years.

The full release is available here.

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