Thursday, 9 October 2008

Aussie Employment Growth Slows in September

The abs reported today that Australian job market added just 2,200 jobs in September. In addition August was revised downward to a gain of 10,200 (14,500 previously). Remember that the Australian economy needs to create between 15 - 20k jobs per month just to keep up with new entrants into the labour force. Thus the unemployment rate rose to 4.3%.

Probably the most notewothy data point in today's numbers was that -15,400 full time jobs were lost, the most in 2 years, whilst 17,700 part-time jobs were added. It's still too early to see a trend and it should also be noted that these numbers are subject to large revisons. That said, given the sharply deteriorating economic picture we can expect the unemployment rate to rise substantially next year.

Employment is a lagging indicator so I would't expect large consecutive monthly drops in payrolls until next year. However I expect the unemployment rate to reach 6% or higher by the end of 2009 as we enter our first recession in 18 years.