Friday, October 17, 2014

Regional employment mixmaster

Amidst the ABS labour force the regional numbers for September probably didn't contribute a great deal new to the jigsaw: Regional jobs data shows Cairns improvement stalled

Perhaps more interesting are the regional comparisons. Conus Trend unemployment rate in Townsville is now up at 9.9% compared to 7.5% in Cairns, although the participation rate in Townsville is significantly higher.

Further down the coast Mackay threw up 8% as the raw unemployment rate. The Conus Trend currently has this nudging up to 5.6% which is the highest in 5 years. The RTA also released rental bond data this week with the median 2 br unit rent in Mackay plunging 20% since the September quarter last year. I will massage and post this later but Cairns now tops the list for the highest rents of the North Queensland tropical cities.

Conus has also updated the trend youth unemployment rate for Cairns at 21.5% after the raw number spiked higher. I'm sure we can expect some headline hyperbole on this but additional caution must be taken as the sample numbers for these sub-sectors can be extremely small. My favourite male and female sub-sectors continue to exhibit a possible anomaly with a divergence still between the male and female unemployment rates for Cairns and the female proportion of total employed around historic highs.

Queensland Government Statistician summary for September. These also provide part-time and full-time numbers although as far as I'm aware these just pro-rata the state data based on a previous split from the census, so should be ignored as potentially misleading at a regional level.
Note: The Government Statistician numbers use a 12 month rolling average. Pete has provided some background on how this varies from the trend at Conus: Comparing Trend to the 12 month average 

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