As we move into State of Origin season let’s check out the employment situation on a state by state basis.
First let’s check out the employment growth in April in seasonally adjusted terms. It’s always a bit iffy to look at state unemployment this way but it’s fun nonetheless.
Last month when the unemployment rate rose to 5.6% I summarized it saying:
And that’ll do use for another month. Not great – 5,6% is certainly above where you’d like to be, but the trend of 5.5% at least gives us some hope that the March figures were just a bit of a blip to go along with the opposite sided blip in February.
Should we consider the croupiers at Crown Casino to be public sector employees? How about people who file away books at the National Library of Australia? The answers to those questions seem to be yes and no, respectively, according to the Institute of Public Affairs.
Well now. What an interesting set of numbers. Have had a bit of a long day, so there’s a stack of graphs, but the writing is at a minimum.
How would we know if the labour market was ‘flexible’? One way is to look at how the jobs market responds to economic shocks. During the GFC, when the Howard Government’s labour laws were still in effect, the number of hours worked in Australia fell while the number of people in employment didn’t fall.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry advanced this as evidence that the flexibility of the then-legislation helped to prevent a big rise in unemployment as seen in other countries:
Tasmania has set an unfortunate record: it’s the first Australian state in which less than half of all adult men are employed full time. In the lead-up to the financial crisis, the proportion of Tasmanian men in work soared, rising faster than the national ratio, but it has since plummeted. In February 2013, just 48.3% of Tasmanian men aged 15 and over were in full-time work; this was 8.3 percentage points below the national figure of 56.6%.