Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reason for optimism but hyperbole watch restored!

The Far North unemployment rate for November has come in at a surprisingly low 4.6%. While this is encouraging the gyrations between 9.4% in September and now 4.6% within two months stretches credibility somewhat. Conus has now shamelessly plagiarised that comment before it was even posted so rather than continue with any attempted analysis will simply defer to their trend series and extensive commentary if I may which includes: Good news continues to roll in for FNQ jobs
Today's headline, unadjusted (and therefore virtually meaningless) unemployment rate for Nov has seen a spectacular drop to 4.6% from 6.2% last month and 9.4% just 2 months ago! Clearly we can place little faith in such wild swings. However, our own Trend series supports the case that there has been a significant drop in the unemployment rate in recent months. The Conus Trend unemployment rate for Nov comes in at 6.5%, down from a downwardly revised 7.1% in Oct.
A flag on sample size was also noted last month and again this month. A quick browse through the regions shows quite a few such flags appearing. The Sunshine Coast unemployment rate fell from 6.2% to just 3.0% this month and also comes with a flag.

An interesting aspect in the state data is an update on a previously posted graph comparing the unemployment rate in Brisbane with the balance of the state. The Bush here is patriotic maroon while Brisbane is evil blue. I have added in a 3 month moving average and note also that these are raw unadjusted numbers:

So a 5.0% unemployment rate for the Bush is now below 5.5% in Brisbane. This is actually quite rare for Brisbane to be higher and has only been repeated less than a handful of previous months since 2007, and never by as much as 0.5%. That could be an interesting comparison to watch!

1 comment:

  1. Mark...interesting stuff in the Bush v Bris numbers; certainly something to keep an eye on.
    I haven't seen any commentary from the Post yet so either they've missed it completely or they're so confused they don't know what to write. Hyperbole watch certainly on and I suspect we might have to upgrade to a warning later on!