It's now clear that the strong jobs growth of 2017 is behind us -- growth is still good, but well below that of last year. New data from the ABS shows why. Yesterday the ABS released its quarterly detailed labour force figures and they illustrate how big a role the health and social care and education sectors played in the strong jobs growth.
That growth was mainly in the May and August quarters; using the ABS's trend numbers, 111,000 and 118,000 jobs were created, respectively. A further 95,000 were created in the November quarter as well -- none too shabby either. For comparison, only 140,000 jobs were created in all four quarters up to February 2017. It was a dramatic acceleration in those three quarters last year. The February quarter this year showed a further deceleration, though, to 75,000; the May quarter (the latest one) saw 69,000. That's still pretty good, but heading toward half of the strong growth last year.