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The glass is definitely half full!

Longest run of job gains in 23 years! Try to be optimistic

Peter Switzer
17 November 2017

By Peter Switzer

In the absence of anyone in the media willing to cheer our latest jobs report, let me give you the truth about employment in this country.

The headline all newspapers and business websites should be running with is: “The longest run of job gains in 23 years!”

Let me give you the hard facts that should be getting your high hopes about our economic future into optimism mode.

Here they are in a nutshell:

  • Jobs rose for the 13th straight month, up by 3,700 in October after rising by 26,600 in September (previously reported as a rise of 19,800 jobs).
  • Full-time jobs rose by 24,300, while part-time jobs fell by 20,700. Economists had tipped an increase in jobs of around 20,000.
  • Hours worked rose by 0.3% in October and were up by 3.2% over the year. Trend hours worked rose 3.1% over the year, the fastest growth in seven years.
  • Unemployment fell from 5.5% to 5.4% – the lowest jobless rate since February 2013.
  • Unemployment remains under 5% in three of the nation’s states and territories. In fact, the NSW job market could be considered at full employment with a jobless rate of 4.6% — a 9-year low.
  • The number of unemployed males fell to a 5-year low of 5.2% in October. The female unemployment rate was 5.6%.
  • Aussies actively employed or looking for work rose to 5 ½-year highs.

Seriously, I could go on, but I’ll let you off the hook but as you can see, this is a wonderful employment report. More importantly, this job market of ours has been getting better for 13 months and augurs well for the economy next year.

This week we saw business conditions rise from 13.9 points in September to a record high of 21.1 points in October, while business confidence as measured by the NAB came in at 5.9 which is above the long-term average.

Anyone who doesn’t want to see this as an unambiguous good story for the economy for 2018 simply doesn’t want to believe it!

Adding to my optimism was the RBA telling us that non-mining business investment is on the rise and more economists are tipping wage rises to pick up next year.

As I said, anyone who doesn’t see this as a good news story, simply doesn’t want to believe it. And I say — screw them!

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