Friday, October 22, 2010

August 2010 Employment Report

The August 2010 report on labour force statistics shows unemployment falling to the lowest level so far in this series:


But I’d take this with a grain of salt, as I’m expecting the jump in employment due to the Census to fall back in September. There are already some signs of that occurring, with August showing a loss of 113k jobs:


There’s also the Ramadhan effect to consider, although with just over a year’s worth of data, it’s hard to tell what the seasonal effect might be. The drop in the unemployment rate can be reconciled with the drop in jobs, by taking note that the number of people in work or actively seeking work also fell:


I’m damned if I know how DOS actually figures all this out (labour economics and stats gathering aren’t really my field). From the perspective of an econometrician, the employment and unemployment numbers are pretty noisy. It’s hard to tell with any degree of confidence what’s actually going on, though I suspect that’s mainly a function of the short span of the data – we’re only talking about a series that’s less than two years long.

So I’m going to continue tracking this, and hope enlightenment will appear down the road.

Technical Notes:

August 2010 Principal Statistics of Labour Force Report from the Department of Statistics (pdf link)

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