The latest regional ABS employment data has reversed much of last months gains in the Far North. However, it isn't clear how much of that is due to a 'January effect' as the regional data isn't seasonally adjusted and January is a less than typical month.
To demonstrate that, since the series started the declines in estimated employment for January in te Far North have been (thousands) 2008: -7.1k; 2009: -10.4k; 2010: -7.8k; 2011: -3.9k; 2012: -6.8k. The same trend is apparent in most regions and also in the (not seasonally adjusted) State data.
So it may be best just to post the updated chart and wait to see how the year unfolds. A weaker participation rate with higher unemployment is probably the biggest concern in the recent data although again there is a January effect also apparent in addition to the usual volatility.