Surprisingly good jobs data shows economy’s resilience

Unemployment_rate_November_15

I am quoted in today’s Courier-Mail regarding yesterday’s surprisingly good jobs data published by the ABS (e.g. see chart above):

In a sign the state is working through the mining downturn, there have been 50,800 jobs added since the Palaszczuk Government took office.

 Adept Economics’ Gene Tunny said there had been a long run of reasonable growth and Queensland was “obviously” benefiting from tourism.

This is all good news, but, as I have noted previously, I remain concerned about the 2016 outlook due to weakness in business investment (i.e. capital spending). That said, with strong growth in the services sector, which as Christopher Kent from the RBA noted earlier this year does not require as much capital per worker as say manufacturing, the economy should remain resilient. GFC Economics, a London-based economics consultancy, produced an excellent note on jobs growth in the services sector last month which you may be interested in:

GFC Economics note on services employment

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4 Responses to Surprisingly good jobs data shows economy’s resilience

  1. Gene, great to see the cross-border match-making and cross-fertilisation of ideas! It’s an exciting (shrinking) world. Also very interesting to see the commentary about the Brisbane tourism boom in the light of the shameless FNQ spruiking that’s been going on up here.

  2. James G says:

    Hi Gene,

    First-time poster, long-time reader 🙂

    The job stats would be great news – if we could have any confidence in the data.

    Its former head says the employment data are ‘not worth the paper they’re written on’ – see:

    http://www.afr.com/news/economy/former-abs-head-says-employment-data-not-worth-paper-theyre-written-on-20151014-gk8syh

    The ABS itself has also admitted its jobs data are not too reliable of late – see:

    http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/meisubs.nsf/0/37CC1C9D7DC0DD3FCA257F1600124BF6/$File/62020_nov%202015.pdf (Page 6)

    Very frustrating – it’s one of the most important stats they put out!

    Thanks

    James

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Thanks for the comment and the links, James. I agree there are concerns about the reliability of the ABS data, but as you note they are very important stats, and we need to interpret them as best we can, acknowledging the uncertainty involved.

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