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Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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Queensland employment growth stand outs in June 2017

This is a good month to put to the side the seasonally adjusted series and look to the trend to see what is really happening in Queensland’s labour market and it was generally a good set of numbers for the Sunshine State.

Firstly in dealing with the yo-yoing seasonally adjusted series, the State's unemployment rate jumped from 6.1% to 6.5% and the unemployment rate continues to sit well above the national rate of 5.6%. This was largely as a result of 10,100 extra persons registering as being unemployed (it never happened, well not to this extent).  Unsurprisingly the participation rate jumped from 64.7% to 64.9%. Full-time employment rocketed upwards by 7,400 positions despite total employment falling by 1,000 persons as 8,400 part-time jobs were shed.

So in turning to the trend numbers the picture is significantly better. Firstly the unemployment rate for Queensland actually decreased from 6.4% to 6.3% whilst the participation rate was rising.  This is always a good sign. There were an extra 200 persons recorded as being unemployed but the real boon was both full (up 5,100) and part time (up 1,900) employment increased with total employment increasing by 7,000 positions in June 2017.

In summary the strong employment growth was the real stand out this month and for this reason June 2017 was a good month for Queensland.  Despite the Queensland unemployment rate continuing to be well above the national rate the recent trend for the Sunshine State is encouraging.  

On a cautionary note State Final Demand (the measure of domestic economic activity), which I believe, is the single biggest influencer on our labour market at present was fairly lacklustre in the March quarter.  This is a forward indicator for our labour market and when coupled with the impact of TC Debbie that will hit the state accounts in the June quarter, domestic economic growth will be weak and weighing down the labour market. 

It is important not to completely dismiss the seasonally adjusted numbers (despite their volatility) as they are actually already capturing the impact of TC Debbie. On this basis in trend terms expect several months of relatively little change (an underlying favourable trend neutralised by TC Debbie) for the labour market before things start to ramp up again in September / October 2017.

(As a footnote I am quickly crunching the numbers of the impact of Queensland Public Sector growth on our State's labour market.)

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