The numbers are now reported for the Cairns SA4 statistical area rather than Far North. This is the ABS map of the changes with the old Far North boundary reduced to the dark green area for Cairns SA4. The Cape and interior are now included in Qld - Outback SA4.
So the new SA4 area is a component of the old Far North and apart from Cairns City basically comprises Douglas/Daintree, Eastern Tablelands and Cassowary Coast down to Cardwell.
As a labour market size comparison between the two based on the ABS December numbers there were 108k employed in Cairns SA4 while in Far North it was 134K. The new more concentrated area comprises the bulk of the population and labour market of what was Far North.
I suspect many will be more content with this data rather than the broader Far North although it remains just as volatile and seems to have more sample size warnings also. However there is likely to be some confusion in reporting as we can't just compare the latest month with data from the previous series.
What we can do, and ABS have provided similar examples for other areas, is compare how the two series themselves differ up until December 2013.
While the basic patterns and trends correlate (recently very closely) there have been some interesting previous anomalies and perhaps unexpected differences between the12 months averages with Cairns recently moving higher than Far North?
This should all provide hours of fun for some playing with spreadsheets and data. I will await for Conus to recompile their trend series from the new data: FNQ jobs data now becomes Cairns SA4 data