The November Labour Force figures are welcome news amongst a backdrop of data releases pointing to an economy that appears to be losing momentum.
Just on Tuesday, when the Reserve Bank lowered the cash rate for the sixth time in this easing cycle, it noted that: “Looking further ahead, with the labour market softening somewhat and unemployment edging higher, conditions are working to contain pressure on labour costs.”
The recent data pointing to weakness in the economy includes:
• The September Quarter National Accounts which showed growth in the quarter of 0.5 per cent, which leaving aside the flood-affected March quarter figure last year, is the softest growth outcome since mid-2009 in the midst of the GFC.
• The ANZ job advertisements index fell a further 2.9% in November, the eighth consecutive monthly decline. Job advertisements are now down a cumulative 17% from their February 2012 peak – and down 14.0% since Labor’s carbon and mining taxes came into force on 1 July 2012.
• Retail spending was flat in October, with trend data showing a clear loss in momentum over the past six months.
• Company gross operating profits fell by 2.9% in the September quarter, the fourth consecutive quarterly decline.
The Coalition has a plan to create a diverse five pillar powerhouse economy that can create one million new jobs over the next five years – and two million new jobs over the next decade.