Jobs numbers weaken under the bonnet

Via the ABS comes May Labour Force:

  • Employment increased 42,300 to 12,868,200 persons. Full-time employment increased 2,400 to 8,792,900 persons and part-time employment increased 39,800 to 4,075,400 persons.
  • Unemployment decreased 2,400 to 704,700 persons.
  • Unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2%.
  • Participation rate increased 0.1 pts to 66.0%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased 5.9 million hours to 1,775.0 million hours.

Not bad jobs creation but all part time and no return to the unemployment downtrend with falling hours worked. Participation rate up again as everyone works for Uber.

Not bad at the headline but weak under the bonnet. It’s a toss up if this is enough for another RBA cut in July. Aussie dollar fell and bonds were bid up.


  1. Those calling July are in la-la land. Freaking hysterical. Yes, the RBA are cutting, and yes, through 1%, but if you knew the RBA’s style, you’d know July isn’t on the cards. They’ve got it horribly and unforgivably wrong, but these clowns still have their pride. The labour market is weakening, but it wasn’t like we just got a negative 42k. Fade July, and expect 1% to be breached through the 2nd half, but July? Take a lie down …

  2. May figures likely were improved by the election. AEC employs around 80,000 people to run the election – I expect almost all part time ie just a few days each, staffing the booths, counting etc.

    I expect at least some from the ranks of the unemployed although others would be just working the Saturday in addition to their usual day job. So this might explain some of the part time boost this month.

  3. Jumping jack flash

    Hours worked and underemployment tell the story.

    Dont need to work the hours, don’t need to get paid. JIT workforce/production and all of that. The children of the 90s are all grown up. I don’t know what they teach in unis these days regarding management and production and such, but back in the late 90s it was all about outsourcing this, and JIT that, and agile workforce, blah blah blah.

    But the underlying reason of course is the debt.

    If the same amount of work gets done in half the amount of time by whipping the cheap imports – and we see this is happening through the productivity figures and the wage theft – then employers are taking home more money in their pockets. We see this in the wages detail.

    This is all necessary, because more money in employers’ pockets is required to be able to afford the debt that everyone needs in the new economy of debt + services.

    And also to keep up with the gouging of living costs due to the debt the bosses of the private companies providing those need, too