With yesterday’s ABS release of the Labour Force Survey data, it might be worth having a closer look at it. First up, the basic unemployment rates for the states – and we’ll use the trend measure for all these.

natratesAlso worth looking at is the amount that the unemployment rates for the States have changed since May.


The resource states of Qld and WA have actually experienced a rise in unemployment over the last 6 months while NSW and Vic have experienced a drop. “But how can that be?“, I hear you ask. “Hasn’t China and the resources industry been keeping our unemployment rates low? Accountants from St. George and columnists from The Oz have been telling me so!

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Yes, well – in an ideal world we’d stick both of them behind a paywall. Since we’re not quite yet in that utopia, a chart will have to suffice.Here’s the employment reality of the resources sector – although these figures are from August 09, when new figures are released next week they won’t change a great deal relative to each other.


As you can see, the resources sector isn’t a particularly large employer of Australians directly. What the resources sector does is earn us national income – what it doesnt do is employ vast numbers of people. Even indirectly, it’s 8-15% share of GDP (both direct and indirect) doesnt translate through to an 8-15% employment share – something that’s worth keeping in your thought orbit.

Another interesting piece of info to come out of the LFS figures was the total aggregate number of hours worked.

aghoursOur total hours worked seemed to have bottomed out in June and is now trending solidly higher. That’s a good sign for two reasons; firstly those that experienced a reduction in total hours rather than losing their job should now start the phase of getting those hours back (and increasing household income as a result). Secondly, and obviously, it should also start to reduce the total unemployment rate.

The other interesting aspect is the way unemployment is playing out in terms of gender across the states. Rather than give a commentary on each one, I’ll just post the charts – each state has it’s own pretty interesting story.I’ll also throw in teenage unemployment – especially since it’s a bit of a good news story.

(click to expand)

urnat urnsw urqld urwa

urvic ursa urtas ur1519