ABS June figures reflect solid gains for the labor market. Justin Smirk at Westpac writes:
“….The annual pace of employment growth has lifted from 0.9%yr in February to 2.0%yr in May and it held that pace in June. In the year to Feb there was a 106.9k gain in employment; in the year to June this has lifted to 240.2k. The Australian labour market went through a soft patch in 2016 that was particularly pronounced through August to November when the average gain in employment per month was a paltry 2.2k. We have clearly bounced out of this soft patch and now holding a firmer trend.”
My favorite measure, monthly hours worked, jumped (year-on-year) by 3.1%.
Infrastructure spending, particularly in NSW and Victoria, is doing its best to offset weakness in other areas.
Wage rate growth remains subdued, indicating little pressure on the RBA to lift rates.