Yesterday’s new ABS labour force data were weird (see OESR information brief). While the Queensland unemployment rate came down to 5.1% seasonally adjusted from 5.5% the month before, employment barely grew. So while unemployment fell, it may have fallen because many of the 8,100 people who left the unemployment pool gave up looking for work. I find these figures hard to reconcile with strong data on, among other things, expected investment in Queensland, state final demand, retail trade and improving building approvals. OESR, however, is pessimistic based on these new labour force data and ANZ job ads data:
With global economic conditions continuing to weigh on business sentiment and recent declines in indicators, such as ANZ Job Ads, any employment growth in Queensland will likely be subdued over the near–term.
This seems too pessimistic to me. I’m going to stick by my rule not to worry too much about one month’s set of figures.