Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property advisory, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place) - clients include hedge funds, resi funds, & private investors.

4 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he is one of the better property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

"Pete Wargent is one of Australia's brightest financial minds - a must-follow for articulate, accurate & in-depth analysis." - David Scutt, Business Insider, leading Australian market analyst.

"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data and charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, and author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' and 'Code Red'.

"Pete's daily analysis is unputdownable" - Dr. Chris Caton, Chief Economist, BT Financial.

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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Labour force survey points to soft employment markets

Not a particularly exciting Labour Force survey today.

The headline unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 5.6%, which was welcome news, albeit as part of a fairly soft overall report.

Graph: Unemployment Rate

Source: ABS

Total employed persons were pretty much flat at a little over 11.6m.

Graph: Employed Persons

Source: ABS

The survey showed that employment increased moderately by 9,100 in September, which was a little under expectations, but, let's be blunt, survey response rates of 94% for September and 93% for August are poor. 

It's little wonder that confidence intervals are so wide and m/m figures are all over the place.

The prime cause of the falling headline unemployment rate appeared to be a small downtick in the participation rate (to 64.9%) which has continued to decline for some time now.

Y/y the economy has added around 95,000 jobs with Queensland now moving into pole position (+50,000) and New South Wales in second place (+15,600), with most other state markets adding a small number of jobs.

Only Adelaide of the major capital city markets remains in negative territory for the past 12 months, while Tasmania's unemployment rate remains elevated at 8.3%.

On the plus side for South Australia, as my chart shows below it was the state showing the best improvement in its headline unemployment rate, with the figure having quickly fallen from above a worrying 7% to 'back in the pack' at 6%.

As noted above, however, these monthly figures are too volatile to be trustworthy and therefore ideally need to be supported by 2-3 successive survey releases.

The strongest employment markets still appear to be in Western Australia (4.6% unemployment rate) - where the unemployment rate has been the lowest for some time now - and New South Wales (5.6%).

Does anyone else find the low response rates annoying for such an important survey?

Interest rates to be left on hold until 2014 absent a financial apocalypse eventuating from the US debt deal discussions.

Source: ABS