Politics

Nov 8, 2012

Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: triumph of the nerds

I hope you will forgive one comment about the triumph of the nerds who came under such attack from conservatives for correctly interpreting the myriad opinion polls as pointing to a very likely Barack Obama victory.

Richard Farmer

Crikey political commentator

Workforce leavers helping the figures. The official October figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics this morning show a drop in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate but the trend line that irons out some of the inevitable monthly ups and downs is still pointing upwards.

And the ABS features some trend figures that show that people withdrawing from the workforce make things look better than they actually are. The trend estimate of the employment to population ratio for persons is down from its high point of 62.8% in May 2008 (for males the high was in March that year at 67.2% and for females a high of 56% in June 2008) to a current level of 61.6% (67.8% for men and 55.6% for women). The trend estimate of the participation rate for persons rose from 63.5% in October 2002 to 63.8% in February 2003. The trend then fell to 63.3% in March 2004 before generally rising to 65.9% in December 2010. The trend has since generally fallen to 65.1% in October 2012 -- 71.7% for men and 58/.8% for women.

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