Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Sydney grinds towards full employment

Jobs growth picks up

If this blog has adopted a marginally more upbeat tone in recent weeks, then it's mainly due to improved labour force indicators. 

Total employment expanded by +234,740 over the year to May 2017, rising by +2 per cent - a pace of employment growth miles ahead of the rate of population growth - to a fresh high of 12.21 million. 


Having apparently threatened to stall, employment growth in 2017 is off and running again in Greater Sydney, where the total number of employed persons is up by +1.91 per cent over the past year, comfortably fast enough to keep the unemployment rate declining. 

Smoothing out the volatility on a 3mMA basis, we can see that the annual rate of employment growth in Sydney has been picking up again since January 2017. 


As a result the Greater Sydney unemployment rate was again reported at just 4.4 per cent in May.

The annual average unemployment rate in Sydney has been declining consistently since February 2014, suggesting that the harbour city is approaching so-termed 'full employment'.

Elsewhere, Hobart is tightening nicely, but Brisbane's labour market is evidently struggling to absorb new migrants as apartment construction gets set to fade. 


At the industry level healthcare and social assistance has seen a net increase in employment of more than +509,000 over the past decade, the ageing population accounting for strong stock price performance in that sub-index. 


The most contentious point is what happens from here to total construction employment, which remains heroically elevated at a fraction under 1.1 million.