Sept saw the participation rate drop back to 69.8 (from 70.3) and while this is still high for recent times is actually now close to the 5 year historical average for the Region. Were we to see the participation rate fall to the average level of QLD (66.5) then the unemployment rate in FNQ would currently stand at just 5.1%! I'm not saying this is likely, but it is interesting to see the impact our high participation rate has on the unemployment rate.
As always we need to treat these un-adjusted figures with a good deal of caution. Our own Conus Trend series has the unemployment rate for Sept at 10.2% (from an upwardly revised 10.0%) and has increased for 11 consecutive months.As always at Loose Change we take a keen interest in any divergences between the female and male employment data. Recent months have indicated a promising bounce in female employment following what had been a consistent deterioration. Again, caution must be taken with the data not seasonally adjusted and dubious sample size.
There is an interesting trend because the weak female employment numbers for Queensland have drawn some attention this week. Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) has posted on this at The Drum: Queensland's unemployment (and women) problem.
While both the male and female unemployment rates for Queensland have deteriorated in recent months, the female rate has detached from the national trend as illustrated in a Twitpic from Possum Comitatus.