Thursday, 12 March 2009

Full-time Jobs Getting Harder To Find For Aussies

Australian employment rose by a tepid 1,200 jobs in February but as always a grain of salt needs to be taken with these numbers in light of the sampling error that states the real number could lie with 60,000 either side of the actual number reported. of the actual number reported.

However the real story is the growing divergence between full-time and part-time employment. full-time employment decreased by -53,800 the biggest decline since November 1991, whilst part-time employment increased by 55,600.

Year over year full-time employment is now down -0.5% whilst part-time employment is up 3.6%. The chart above shows that in previous recessions and downturns there is a wide divergence between full and part time employment. This is obviously not a good trend if full-time jobs are being replaced by part-time jobs.

The unemployment rose to a 3 year high of 5.2% largely due to some 48,000 new entrants entering the workforce although it needs to be remembered the Australian economy needs to create 15 - 20k jobs per month just to keep up with the growth in the labour force and prevent the unemployment rate from rising.

Large drops in full-time employment is obviously not a good sign and serves to reinforce the more leading indicators of employment from the ANZ job ad series and the DEEWR Monthly Leading Indicator of Employment as well as the AIG industry surveys that have shown employment contracting for months.

From the abs data, the number of people employed in the Australian economy peaked in October, that is probably as good a time as any to date the start of the current recession from. The Australian unemployment rate looks set to blow through 7% by the end of the year and punch through 8% sometime in 2010. Where it peaks depends a lot on policy responses by governments both overseas and domestically.

However that is not to suggest that the government can prevent unemployment from rising significantly with any old fiscal response, such as throwing money at people so they can go a buy a flat screen TV for their 2nd bathroom.

1 Comment:

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