Friday, February 21, 2014

New Cairns employment data raises concerns

Conus Business have updated their trend employment series for both Cairns and Townsville. The new data for Cairns actually raises a few concerns on the employment trend as noted at Conus:
"Having now completed the work on the Conus Trend Employment series this new data set throws up a real cause for concern. Trend Employment has been falling for the past 11 months."
The new data set from ABS extends back to 1998 while the previous regional series only commenced in 2007. An updated chart I have previously posted on male and female employment now looks like this for Cairns over that period:

 
This deteriorating employment trend hasn't been fully reflected in the unemployment rate as it has also been coincident with a falling participation rate:
 
 
A lower participation rate is not peculiar to Cairns and has part of a broader trend which can be at least partly also attributed to an ageing population. However the trend and recent numbers here for Cairns are a concern also.
 
Warning: caution as always on these statistics although one would at least hope that trends over multiple months are valid.

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