Friday, November 11, 2011

Standstill. We are no longer making enough jobs


Jobs growth per month

NSW +3800
Victoria -500
Queensland +3200
Western Australia -1000
South Australia -700
Tasmania +200

ABS 6202.0, trend figures

Australia’s jobs market is struggling to keep pace, producing an extra 10,100 jobs in a month in which the working age population grew 21,000.

Employment figures for October released yesterday show jobs growth at a virtual standstill, inching ahead at an annualised trend rate of 0.6 per cent meaning in two years Australia would have created 138,000 jobs at a time when the labour force grew 289,000.

The May budget promised half a million new jobs.

The jobs figures came as Reserve Bank assistant governor Philip Lowe told a conference in Melbourne Australia's terms of trade had peaked.

Dr Lowe told a conference in Melbourne Australia’s ratio of export to import prices was at its highest in 150 years and from here on would decline gradually. The boost to national income from mining would be less than it had been, although the benefits of high mining investment would remain for several years.

“In two years time mining investment will be about 7 per cent of the economy - that’s a staggering number. Total business investment is probably going to be at the highest share for 50 years, I don’t think there’s any other advanced economy that can be any where near that,” he said.

Jobs minister Chris Evans welcomed the news saying full-time employment had grown 20,000, but trend figures prepared by the Bureau of Statistics show the monthly growth in full-time jobs has slipped to 5200...

“ At 5.2 per cent, Australia’s unemployment rate remains one of the lowest in the developed world,” the minister said.

“The recent decision by the Reserve Bank to lower interest rates will provide greater support for consumers and businesses, stimulating growth and creating jobs.

The SEEK count of new online job advertisements also released yesterday slipped another 2.8 per cent in October, its third consecutive fall. The falls were werst in Victoria and NSW.

At the same time, the number of applicants per job slipped 1.9 per cent, suggesting some employers might be finding it harder to find suitable candidates. The fastest growing job ads were for teachers, engineers and fruit pickers.

Western Australia remains Australia’s lowest unemployment state with a rate of 4.2 per cent, although in trend terms it has been sheding workers for three months. Victoria’s unemployment rate remained steady at 5.3 per cent.

Published in today's SMH and Age

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