Media over-reacts to jobs data

Media reports such as “Robust jobs growth in June shows economy in ‘reasonable health'” that are based on monthly movements in the ABS Labour Force Survey employment estimates are often meaningless. This is clear from the wide confidence intervals surrounding monthly movements in the seasonally adjusted labour force figures, as reported on p. 2 of the publication, just above the sign off from the Australian Statistician:

The ABS is 95% confident that the change in total employment over May to June was somewhere between a fall of 31,200 and an increase of 78,000. This means there is a reasonable chance employment actually fell, remained constant or hardly increased at all in June. So it’s best not to read too much into monthly movements in labour force data. Savvy commentators instead look at trends over a number of months (e.g. see What’s happened to Australia’s unemployment rate since last year).

This entry was posted in Labour market, Macroeconomy. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Media over-reacts to jobs data

  1. Pingback: Qld unemployment rate increases to 6.2% – due to surge in labour force participation | Queensland Economy Watch

  2. Pingback: Employment data no cause for concern – although Bligh’s jobs target harder to hit | Queensland Economy Watch

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