The deterioration in the New Zealand and Australian economies is starting to flow through to a softening in the labour market. Admittedly, employment growth in Australia has risen to the highest rate in ten months. But the rate of jobs growth isn’t strong enough to keep up with growth in the labour force, so the unemployment rate is now the highest it has been in eight months. And with business surveys, job ads and economic activity all pointing to softer employment growth we suspect the unemployment rate will rise further this year. In New Zealand we suspect the slowdown in employment growth has further to run,which should flow through to an increase in the unemployment rate before long.
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