The Reserve Bank's struggle over whether -- and when -- to cut interest rates has thrown up an interesting divide over jobs figures. The recent April employment data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics was leapt upon by the commentariat and economists to warn about a softening labour market, given the increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 5.2% and the underemployment rate.

Except, the ABS prefers that people look at its trend series, not the seasonally adjusted series; that showed unemployment stable at a revised 5.1%. The trend estimate is what features on the ABS's website dashboard of economic indicators and for some years it has been what the ABS emphasised in its media releases, ever since problems with its jobs sample began playing hell with the seasonally adjusted figures in mid-2014.