Aug 8, 2013

Unemployment data: welcome to the jobs crunch

The July jobs figures suggest the government was right to lift its unemployment forecasts -- it's a soft labour market, even though unemployment is steady at 5.7% nationally. Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane report.

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The July jobless report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics isn’t pretty and is starting to reveal the jobs crunch hinted at last week by the federal government, which forecast that unemployment would rise to 6.25% this financial year.

Slowly but surely the lack of any real growth in jobs is being overtaken by the rise in the size of the labour market. It could have crossed over in July, with employment in full and part-time jobs (for men and women) both falling, according to the ABS analysis. If that’s the case, the steady unemployment rate of 5.7% in July — as revealed by the ABS this morning — will soon top 6%.

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