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Thursday 19 August 2021

NSW employment plunges, but...

Employment holds the line

There was a 36,000 drop in New South Wales employment in July, while the state's labour force and hours worked also plunged.

There will inevitably be worse to come over the following few months, too. 

Despite this, gains in employment elsewhere kept total employment slightly positive in July, and total employment at a record high of 13.16 million (up by 5.4 per cent or 675,000 from the gloomy depths of a year earlier). 

Despite a relatively higher unemployment rate, Queensland has fared well over the past year, mostly avoiding the heaviest restrictions seen in Victoria (and more lately NSW). 

Victoria saw its employment increase in July, but has since gone back into another lockdown, taking total days in lockdown for the state to beyond 200. 

With the participation rate dropping in July, the unemployment rate spat out a remarkably upbeat result of just 4.63 per cent. 

However, the result is not nearly as promising as it looks.

Hours worked fell in July, and it will likely take a sustained drop in the unemployment rate to see significant wages growth returning, which now seems unlikely to happen this year. 

Ostensibly a decent set of headline numbers, but of course half of the population has been in lockdown since July!