Australia’s overall employment
shocked economists by falling in October. Unemployment rose by another 0.1 % to
5.2%.

Economists on average
expected a rise of 15K jobs, but the outcome was a fall of 20K. (Of course
this needs perspective – have you ever met an “average economist”? – you
certainly would not want your daughter to marry one).

Worse still, full-time
jobs fell by 61K and part-time jobs rose by 41K. The rate of unemployment rose
for the second month in a row to 5.2% of the workforce, at least as measured by
the ABS. Good economists generally think the correct ratio is two or even three
times higher.

Bond yields had risen
sharply overnight as a US bond auction was not as well
supported as hitherto by overseas central banks. Australia
followed suit but the weak employment data reversed that
response.

Read Peter Jonson’s
“Choppy Waters”
essay here.