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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Unemployment lowest in more than 5 years

Employment surges 51,000

With record jobs vacancies an upside surprise was always a possibility, and in the end that's what we got with employment surging by a seasonally adjusted by +50,900 in June 2018 to 12,573,600, driven by a large increase of +41,200 in full time employment.

Employment increased by +2.8 per cent over the financial year. 

To two decimal places the unemployment rate fell to 5.37 per cent, the lowest in 67 months since all the way back in November 2012, in spite of a promising jump in the participation rate, including record female participation. 

If you were to pick out a slight weakness in the numbers, the year-on-year trend growth in monthly hours worked was a tad softer at +2.6 per cent. 

Overall, though, it was an unambiguously good result.

State versus state - NSW booms

The monthly gain was driven by another +27,300 increase in New South Wales employment, taking annual employment growth to a massive +150,400 or +3.9 per cent. 

Queensland also saw an increase of +14,800 for the month of June, with only modest results recorded elsewhere.

A big chunk of employment growth in Queensland has been driven by public sector hiring, helping to explain the significant surge in total employment year-on-year. 

The bonanza year for New South Wales saw the statewide unemployment rate drop to just 4.7 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms. 

With its unprecedented construction pipeline Victoria could feasibly follow suit over the coming months. 

The smoothed trend numbers showed an improvement for South Australia too. 

The trend number of total unemployed persons has declined from 773,700 in October 2014 to 719,000 in June 2018, which is also a clear improvement, especially after accounting for the growth in the Australian population over that period. 

The wrap

Upbeat result, overall, with Sydney looking to be the likeliest candidate for nascent skills shortages and wages growth returning, with Melbourne arguably not too far behind.