Sunday, November 2, 2014

More on Salm

My previous post on the Small Areas Labour Market SA2 data showed a wide dispersion in unemployment rates across the Cairns Suburbs: Becalmed by SALM.

The unemployment rates were highest in Manoora, Manunda, and Westcourt-Bungalow, which would be no surprise. However I was a bit surprised that the differences seemed larger than indicated in the last 2011 census, or in interim concordance estimates from the Qld Gov't Statistician.

While the latest SALM release has updated to the SA2 geography these three high unemployment areas substantially overlap with what was Central Suburbs in the previous geographical areas:

The blue lines are the SA2 areas while the red is the previous Central Suburbs. There are some adjustments on the western boundary and most particularly a section of Mooroobool has been carved out of the previous Central Suburbs. However there is enough substantial overlap to be able to create a combined M-M-W-B from these three SA2 areas to compare with Central Suburbs in the previous SALM series:
SALM have only provided data for the new series back to December 2012 however it is obvious that there is a large gap between the series outcomes. Analysis from census data of the Mooroobool excision would make a modest upward revision only to the old Central Suburbs for a more direct comparison. Other changes since the previous SALM series have been to update for the 2011 census where that has been used, and also the ABS labour force data is now Cairns SA4 whereas previously it was Far North which included the Cape.
According to the explanatory notes Participation rates in SALM are derived from the census. There is a substantial dispersion also in participation rates between areas in Cairns. There is as well a component from the census where labour force status is not stated. In our local SA2 areas this varies from 2.9% of the labour force in Brinsmead up to 12.1% in Manunda, and even 17.6% in Cairns City. My understanding is that ABS disregard this when they state census unemployment rates for a better comparison with the labour force survey but not sure how SALM deal with it. If we accept the latest figures on the more granular SA2 geography it would seem to imply the previous series was rubbish.
A discussion paper on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Labour Force Outcomes may also provided a useful reference for some of these issues.
Queensland Economy Watch has also posted with graphics on outcomes in Brisbane where there are some areas with unemployment rates well above even these areas in Cairns: Ipswich & rest of Western Corridor suffering disproportionately from Qld’s weak labour market

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