If there’s anything that will tell you the economy isn’t quite as good as the 1Q2014 numbers indicate, it should be employment (‘000):
Not to put too fine a point to it, job creation in 1Q2014 sucked – in fact, it’s been pretty poor since the middle of last year.
The economy has lost about half a million jobs over the same period (‘000):
The reduction in labour demand however hasn’t turned up as unemployment however (ratio to labour force):
Unemployment fell back to just 3.0%, largely due to a simultaneous and slightly larger reduction in the work force. The increase and subsequent decrease in the LFPR over the past year has been unusual – but it appears to be back to “normal” again (ratio to population of working age) :
One the one hand, I’m concerned about the relative lack of job creation over the past year; on the other, I don’t think it’s reasonably out of whack, given the strong growth in jobs before that. On the whole, I think the latter is probably the more important factor, but we’ll see how it goes over the next few months.
March 2014 Employment report from the Department of Statistics (warning: pdf link)