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Thursday 15 June 2017

NSW employment springs back in May

Employment growth soars

Other business indicators and surveys have suggested more upbeat conditions than the labour force surveys have implied in recent times, and this month the employment data snapped back into line. 

The economy reportedly added an outlandish +52,100 full-time jobs in May 2017, a surprise to almost all observers.

Over the last three months the economy has seen total employment soar by more than +141,000, a quarterly pace of hiring not seen on this survey for more than a dozen years. 

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in well over four years at 5.53 per cent, for a 51-month low. 

A more sober assessment might suggest that employment growth of +233,000 (or +2 per cent) over the past year has been a solid result. 

There was also a significant 1.9 per cent jump in the monthly number of hours worked. Smoothing the trend figures year-on-year for monthly hours worked also suggests a gradually quickening pulse. 

The participation rate ticked up a notch to 64.9 per cent, the best result in ten months.

Sydney solid

The trend unemployment rate in New South Wales has declined all the way to 4.8 per cent, the lowest level since mid-2008, implying 'full employment' in Sydney, or at least somewhere close to it. 

Indeed, after a series of underwhelming months New South Wales saw full-time employment spring more than 50,200 higher in May, overwhelmingly accounting for the national result. 

The wrap

Underemployment remains elevated at a historically high level of 8.8 per cent.

However, you'd be hard pressed to make the bear case on these numbers, with full-time employment climbing about +124,000 higher since September, which is a positive indicator.  

Full-time employment has trended higher now over the past eight months. 

Conditions clearly remain quite mixed around the country, with the two most populous capitals in the best nick overall.