I had a good chat with Scott Emerson on his 4BC Drive program this afternoon about the June ABS Labour Force estimates released today which showed the national unemployment rate falling to 4.9%, the lowest rate since December 2010. The Queensland unemployment rate wasn’t much higher at 5.1%, the lowest state unemployment rate since April 2009 (see chart below). I’ve been very glad to see that the end of JobKeeper didn’t appear to compromise Australia’s strong economic recovery at all, which was something I must admit I was worried about at the time.
Of course, the June data are almost ancient history now in this time of pandemic, in which every day seems to bring new cases and new restrictions, and we now have to worry about the adverse economic impacts of Sydney and Melbourne lockdowns and interstate border closures. And a Brisbane lockdown is definitely a possibility. Market economists are speculating September quarter GDP growth could be negative, but are hopeful of a “snap back” in December quarter. Let’s hope we can snap back after what looks like it could be a tough quarter. I think it’s too hard to make any confident forecasts at the moment.
Here’s a link to my conversation with Scott Emerson this afternoon (from approximately 10 minutes in):
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