Australian labor market rebound seems to have stalled

Labor market recovery in Australia seems to have stalled. Payroll jobs rose only 0.1 percent over the fortnight ending 13 June, after averaging 0.9 percent growth over the previous three fortnights. Although these data are not seasonally adjusted and are regularly revised, it is a worrying sign that the rebound in the labor market might have stalled, noted ANZ in a research report.

Payroll jobs actually fell in New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory and the ACT over the first half of June. Compared with the week ended 14 March, Victorian payroll jobs are still down 7.6 percent, the most subdued of all the states and territories.

The latest data period ended before Victoria’s sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, which is already impacting spending in Victoria and consumer confidence more widely. Unfortunately, this will possibly further undermine the labor market recovery in Victoria and more widely, said ANZ.

Meanwhile, the number of payroll jobs for females continued to rebound in the first half of June after falling a cumulative 10.1 percent between mid-March and mid-April, compared with a 6.8 percent fall for males. Payroll jobs for 20-29-year-olds are still on a positive track but the youngest and oldest workers saw payroll jobs stall or go backwards.