BCEC Monthly Labour Market Update – August 2017

AuthorsRebecca Cassells, Alan Duncan, Yashar Tarverdi
PublishedOctober 2017
PublisherBankwest Curtin Economics Centre
Number of Pages4

Welcome to the fifth edition of the BCEC Monthly Labour Market Update.

Produced monthly, this economic commentary explores the latest Labour Force data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), providing expert insights and analysis around key labour market indicators.

Key findings from August 2017 data include:

Jobs creation is the key to labour market recovery

There are 27,000 more people employed nationally compared with a month ago, with strong growth particularly in Queensland (up 10,600), NSW (up 8,000) and Victoria (up 4,000). However, the types of jobs being added vary substantially across the country and despite the increase in employment numbers, the national trend unemployment rate remained at 5.6% for the third month in succession.

Construction sector driving employment growth

Australia’s construction industry has seen the largest gains in employment over the last 12 months, adding an extra 45,000 workers to the sector – an increase of 4.3%. Growth has been spread across nearly all states, with NSW and Queensland leading the way – adding around 29,000 and 21,000 workers each. But it’s not all roses, with WA shedding more than 8,000 jobs and employment in the sector falling overall by 5.7%.

WA’s unique labour market features uncovered

The WA labour market is still growing, with just under 3,000 more people employed in the last month and 2.6% employment growth from August 2016. WA’s unemployment rate shows no change in comparison to July 2017, but since August 2016 there has been a 0.7 percentage point reduction in WA’s unemployment rate, distributed almost evenly between genders.