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Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property advisory & buyer's agents.
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Pete Wargent blogspot
Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property advisory & buyer's agents, 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.
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This data series is not seasonally adjusted, and the January figures are forever all but certain to be weak, but the more indicative annual figures showed a slower pace of employment growth at +287,800 down from a suspiciously strong annual growth of +303,900 in the previous month.
The big gains in employment have been in industries such as health care, professional services, and retail.
It is fairly well known that total employment growth over the past year has been strong in Sydney (+104,500) and Melbourne (+59,200).
The figures also show that after half a decade of stagnation, total employment has lifted in regional New South Wales (+38,400).
One of the drivers for this has been a rebound in employment in the Hunter Valley, following a sharp decline from the 2013 peak as the coal mining industry was hit hard.
However, regional Victoria has seen emploment decline over the past year (-5,200), with cities such as Bendigo among those experiencing falling emloyment.
The remainder of the employment growth in Australia over the past year has largely been accounted for by Brisbane (+39,800) and regional Queensland (+33,200).
Queensland's economy is very much a two-speed affair.
There have been significant declines in jobs in cities such as Townsville and particularly Mackay, where employment has been in decline for three years, now taking Mackay house prices down sharply too.
These job losses have been offset by gains in regions which are benefitting from the lower dollar, including Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Cairns, as well as Toowoomba, which has continued to experience decent jobs growth.
Since the above figures are not seasonally adjusted, the chart below looks at employment growth over a range of timeframes.
It shows how over time employment has largely been created by the most populous cities plus regional Queensland.
Capital city unemployment
At the capital city level, the rolling annual unemployment figures show that there has been a downtrend in unemployment in several cities, although Adelaide's unemployment rate remains too high for comfort.
The January figures tend to show a seasonal spike, but Greater Sydney's unemployment trend has been tracking steadily down for 23 months.
Brisbane also recorded its usual January spike, and since Greater Brisbane covers a huge area the headline unemployment rate is dragged up a little by the naturally higher unemployment rates of Ipswich and Logan.
The trend will be the important thing to watch, and this has been tracking down over the past 12 months.