I have wondered to myself why everyone is moving to Melbourne.
I had my suspicions, of course, and now they have been confirmed: it’s the only place creating any meaningful numbers of jobs.
A few more jobs
First the good news.
Employment increased by 13,500 in December to 11.986 million, with full time employment up for a third month, this time by 9,300.
After a great 2015, annual jobs growth was quite meagre in 2016 at just 91,500 or 0.8 per cent.
In the preceding calendar year the equivalent figures were 310,000 and 2.7 per cent.
Unemployment ticks up
The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.8 per cent in December, although in trend terms the unemployment rate has been flat for months at 5.7 per cent.
Western Australia saw its monthly unemployment rate decline from 6.9 per cent to 6.6 per cent, but since the trend data is calculated using Henderson moving averages, the trend ticked a little higher again in December.
Around the states, unemployment rates converged towards each other in December.
If you think about, it that’s what should happen over time.
2016 a soggy year, except for Melbourne
Overall, it was a weak year which followed a very good year for the labour market figures.
Although total employment did increase in 2016, the uplift was driven by 120,900 part time jobs while full time employment actually declined over the year.
The total number of hours worked in the economy increased by only 0.5 per cent from a year earlier.
While I’ve learned not to place too much stock in monthly employment figures at the state level, it’s clear that by far the best performer was Victoria, which saw its total number of employed persons increase by nearly 119,000.
In doing so, the Victorians accounted for all of the increase in employment last year.
It’s just goes to show how strong a multiplier the construction industry can deliver.