The headline employment number of a rise of 34k jobs in October looked good until you take a closer look at the details. Full-time employment fell -9.2k after a downwardly revised fall of -23.3k in September. The overall rise in employment was driven by strong growth in part-time employment which added 43.5k jobs during October. The unemployment rate remained at 4.3%.
The graph below shows the year over year % change in both part-time and full-time employment. You can see in the two large shaded areas that a sharp divergence between part-time job growth and full-time job growth occcured in the recession of the early 1980's and the economic slowdown in the early part of this decade when Australia just barely escaped recession.
Although the early 1990's recession is not shaded, part-time employment continued to grow year over year whilst full-time employment contracted sharply. The shaded area on the far right of the graph, whilst hard to see, is starting to show that divergence again.
Thursday, 6 November 2008