On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate in Australia climbed by 0.2 percentage points in July, to a still very low 3.7%. The number of unemployed people in Australia climbed by almost 36,000, with almost all of this increase being felt in two states, Queensland and NSW. Given this increase in unemployed people, the unemployment rate in Queensland rose by a substantial 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis, to now be 4.5%.
While this is only one month’s worth of data, and there is no consistent trend seen yet in weakness in the labour force in these two states, CreditorWatch’s Business Risk Index data has consistently highlighted areas in Western Sydney and South-East Queensland as being the most at risk of business failure. These areas have an above-average proportion of workers in casual or insecure work, and businesses that have been in operation for a relatively short period of time, and are therefore much more susceptible to fluctuations in demand.
Overall, Australia’s unemployment rate remains low by historic standards, but there are clear signs now that more weakness in the labour force can be expected, given the deteriorating economic conditions, led by very weak consumer demand.
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