Employment data no cause for concern – although Bligh’s jobs target harder to hit

Given the high degree of volatility from month-to-month in the ABS’s employment estimates, I tend not to worry too much about unfavourable monthly movements, as I outlined in my previous post Media over-reacts to jobs data. Of course, the media has over-reacted again today. The Courier-Mail reports:

THE Bligh Government’s 100,000 jobs promise has suffered a brutal blow on the back of the worst employment performance for Australia since 1992.

To meet her 2009 election promise, Premier Anna Bligh now has to find an additional 10,500 jobs before Queensland goes to the polls.

The latest figures certainly make it more difficult for the Premier’s 100,000 new jobs since the last election target to be reached, and as I discussed last month this may influence the election timing (Bligh’s 100,000 jobs target complicates election timing).

But overall there is no reason for concern about the state of the economy yet. Chris Joye has great coverage of today’s labour market developments over at Aussie Macro Moments:

Dept of Employment’s jobs “leading indicator” increases for 5th month straight (chart)…

Unemployment rate *FALLS* from 5.3% to 5.2% (same as where it was in January 2010)

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