Thursday, 15 January 2009

Australian Employment Declines in December

The abs reported today that Australian employment fell by a seasonally adjusted -1200 jobs whilst the unemployment rate rose to 4.5%. That might not seem too bad but remember that you need 15 - 20k new jobs per month just to prevent the unemployment rate rising.

A closer look at the numbers suggest some troubling trends. 44k full time jobs were lost in December whilst 42.7k part-time jobs were added. I mentioned this full-time part-time divergence back in November. Historically in recessions and slowdowns part-time employment continues to grow or at least holds up whilst full time employment declines sharply.

2008 finished with an unemployment rate of 4.5% in Australia, expect it to be somewhere around 6 - 6.5% by the end of 2009 and expect the Australian government to have egg on their face with their forecast of 5.0% by mid year with employment growth thereafter.