Wednesday, December 21, 2011

October 2011 Employment

Maybe someone at DOS is reading this blog – this month’s report on October 2011 employment is much better written than the last.

In any case, the economy added another 53,400 jobs in October (‘000):


That’s not a whole lot, but well above the average for the last three years. With the labour force itself increasing by just 17.5k, the unemployment rate dropped…again:


It’s now just a little under 3.0%, the second lowest reading in the last three years. Businesses it seems are still hiring despite the atmosphere of gloom and doom that prevails in financial markets.

Will this favourable state of affairs continue? I think it will, at least over the short term (by which I mean over the next half a year or so). Business confidence appears to be pretty high, which means absorption of labour force increases are likely to continue as well – my point forecast for unemployment suggests a further drop to 2.9% by the end of the year. Of course, given the underlying volatility of the employment series, the confidence intervals’ going to be pretty large, so take that with a bucket of salt.

Technical Notes:

October 2011 Employment Report from the Department of Statistics (warning: pdf link)

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