BCEC Monthly Labour Market Update – October 2017

AuthorsAlan Duncan, Rebecca Cassells, Yashar Tarverdi
PublishedNovember 2017
PublisherBankwest Curtin Economics Centre
Number of Pages4

Welcome to the seventh 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 October 2017 data include:

Relativity is everything

Is the Australian labour market in a better position than last year? Yes. Is it in a better position than last month? On balance, yes. With a 2.9% increase in employment, a substantive fall in the unemployment rate, and an overall increase in participation, Australia’s labour market now stands in a far better position than it did a year ago.

Full-time employment driving labour force growth – with a couple of caveats

When our MLMU was first released in April this year, part-time employment was the strongest contributor to growth, while full-time employment remained weak. This trend has reserved over the last six months, with full-time employment continuing to make firmer ground. Just six months ago, part-time employment made up around 40% of the overall increase in employment across Australia – this has now halved to 20%.

Positive labour market outlook for WA? Yes but not enough!

The latest ABS figures suggest that WA’s employment has passed its darkest time, with a 2.8% increase in employment from October last year, representing an additional 37,000 workers added to the West Australian economy in the last twelve months. Unemployment is also down considerably compared to the same time last year – by 0.6 percentage points, but remains above the national average at 5.8%.