Last month the Cairns Post reported the increase in the ABS monthly employment estimates as equivalent to numbers leaving the dole queue. Presumably this month their literal interpretation will be that 7,700 Far Northerners have been heartlessly tossed onto the dole queue to contemplate life on $35 a day? I suspect instead they will report the fall in the unemployment rate to 7.2%!
The large fall in the employment estimate is not abnormal and actually not far from the average January decline in the 6 year history for this data series.
Conus suggested last month that any decline in the previously strong participation rate could see such a fall in the unemployment rate and that was certainly the story for January. The participation rate also tends to seasonally weaken in January but this time tumbled by 4.7 percentage points which is it's largest monthly variation ever.
As always, the trend is your friend .....