Gloomy day for pessimists. Those unemployment numbers won't play fair. Just when the economic gloom and doomers had a slightly weaker GDP growth figure to add to their armoury, the dreaded Australian Bureau of Statistics reports unemployment falling instead of rising. Down 0.1 of a percentage point to 5.2 in November it told us this morning.

And the ABS made it even harder to join the glass-half-empty crowd by finding that monthly aggregate hours worked series showed an increase in November too -- up 1.3 million hours to 1.62 million hours. The only consolation to be grasped is that the participation rate fell by the same amount as unemployment so we can argue that really nothing changed. And don't forget that the seasonally adjusted underemployment rate for the month was 7.2%. Combined with the unemployment rate of 5.2%, the latest estimate of total seasonally adjusted labour force underutilisation was 12.5%t in November. That's a better figure -- far more pessimistic looking.