Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cairns: City of Amazons

It was a data deluge day from the ABS today with updated stats on population, ownership of agricultural land, and the regional labour force lottery results. The original raw employment lottery result from the ABS in Cairns for May was unambiguously good.

The unemployment rate was down, the number of unemployed was down, the participation rate and number employed bounced to reverse the previous weak trend. All fantastic and optimistic and perhaps surprising but..... I have a problem which is this:

Yes! The positive data was driven by the most extreme anomally in more than 15 years on male v female employment with the number of females employed in May almost matching males. This is somewhat unusual and just doesn't look right. For perspective on these stats there were many more women who entered employment in May than the entire number unemployed the previous month, more than double.
Throw away your copy of  '50 Shades of Grey' as Cairns is obviously a city of dominant female Amazons! If the Brotherhood of St Laurence do a projection then the female unemployment rate should be below zero in no time!
Note: Conus appears to have taken leave so will await appropriate trend analysis. The more broad the data the more reliable rather than segments which frequently come with sample size warnings. I think I will wait until next months data.
Update: Although noted at Macrobusiness was that female employment nationally had much stronger growth than male employment over the past year: Where the jobs are

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