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Hospitality set to overtake; Record number retiringEmployment by Industry; Aviation activity
Employment by industry: Employment rose by 52,900 in the three months to November after a gain of 99,500 in the previous three months. Over the past 12 months, 284,800 people have found jobs. A record 12.69 million Aussies are employed.
Biggest job gainers: Over the quarter, Wholesale trade (up 40,900), Education & training (up 30,700) and Accommodation & Food Services (up 18,800) recorded the biggest job gains.
Biggest employer: Healthcare and Social Assistance remains Australia’s leading employer, employing 1.69 million people or 13.2 per cent of all jobs. Employment in the Accommodation & Food Services sector is now neck and neck with Manufacturing.
Other job data: Latest figures show that a record 141,200 Aussies are retiring from the job market.
Aviation activity: The number of passengers flying domestic routes in the year to October were up 2.5 per cent on a year ago. The load factor on planes was at record highs. The data on employment by industry gives insights into which industries are growing the fastest as well as insights on the performance of the broader economy. Aviation activity data is important for airlines and hotels.
What does it all mean?
The job market remains in great shape. A record share of Aussies are either in jobs or looking for work. And more people are finding work. The trend national jobless rate is at 7-year lows. The NSW jobless rate is at 40-year lows.
The good news is that jobs are being created across industry sectors. Over the past quarter as well as over the year, 14 or 19 industry sectors created jobs. Healthcare continues to grow in importance in our ageing society. Now around 1 in 7 jobs are in the Healthcare & Social Assistance sector.
Interestingly Hospitality (defined as “Accommodation and Food Services”) is close to overtaking Manufacturing in terms of the number of employees. This is a clear demonstration of our services economy. 
Yet more evidence of the tightening job market: a record 141,200 are in the process of retiring from the job market and a record 644,800 are changing jobs or seeking other employment.
There are more people flying, but airlines aren’t expanding capacity to the same extent. So the load factor on planes has never been higher with just over 80 per cent of all seats on domestic flights occupied. With planes near full, airfares rising and jet fuel prices falling, the operating environment for airlines is super strong.
What do the figures show?Industry Employment
Employment rose by 52,900 in the three months to November after a gain of 99,500 in the previous three months. Jobs rose in 14 of the 19 industry sectors over the past three months.
One of the quirks of seasonal adjustment is that each industry series is adjusted separately. So adding up the quarterly job changes of all industries suggests 101,300 jobs were created in the past three months, whereas the change in the “total” was 52,900.
Over the past 12 months, 284,800 people have found jobs, down from 297,000 in the 12 months to August. A record 12.69 million Aussies are employed.
Over the three months to November, employment rose the most in Wholesale trade (up 40,900), Education & training (up 30,700) and Accommodation & Food Services (up 18,800)
In the three months to November, the number of jobs fell by the most in Manufacturing (down 50,300), Construction (down 20,800) and Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services (down 9,500).
Over the year to November, 14 out of 19 sectors added jobs. The strongest gains were in Public Administration & Safety (up 95,800), Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (up 48,400) and Wholesale Trade (up 44,400).
The sectors that shed the most jobs over the past year including Other Services (down 46,800), Retail Trade (down 22,300) and Arts & Recreation Services (down 6,400).
Health Care and Social Assistance remains the biggest employer with 1.69 million employees (13.2 per cent of the total) followed by Retail Trade (1.27 million jobs or 10.0 per cent), Construction (1.16 million or 9.1 per cent) and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (1.08 million or 8.5 per cent).
Aviation activity
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) report: “There were5.73 million passengers carried on Australian domestic commercial aviation (including charter operations) in October 2018, an increase of 1.7 per cent on October 2017. For the month of October 2018 there were 59,533 aircraft trips, an increase of 0.1 per cent compared to October 2017.
Overall 5.5 million passengers were carried on regular passenger transport (RPT) flights in October 2018, an increase of 1.4 per cent on October 2017. For the year ending October 2018 there were 61.18 million RPT passengers, an increase of 2.5 per cent on the year ending October 2017.
Revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) performed were 6.44 billion for the month, up 1.3 per cent compared with October 2017. Capacity, measured by available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 1.1 per cent compared with October 2017 to a total of 7.81 billion.
With RPT passenger traffic increasing at a faster rate than capacity, the industry wide load factor (RPKs/ASKs) increased from 82.3 per cent in October 2017 to 82.4 per cent in October 2018.”
Over the year to October, the load factor was at a record 80.5 per cent.
Why is the data important?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides detailed labour market figures one week after releasing ‘top level’ statistics of employment & unemployment levels across states and territories. The detailed data is useful in identifying broader underlying trends and instructive about the health of the economy.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) releases data on domestic aviation each month. The data is useful in tracking consumer spending and airline performance.
What are the implications?
The job market should continue to gain momentum over the coming year. Business conditions are near the best levels in decades and indicators of job vacancies and advertisements are near the highest levels for around six years. The strength of the job market is evidenced by the fact that a record 644,800 Aussies are changing jobs or seeking other jobs. And with a record 141,200 people retiring, the job market is tightening rapidly.
The airline activity data is a good guide to the health of the economy. If more people are flying for work or pleasure it shows confidence and healthy finances for both consumers and businesses. Company profits are at record highs and the jobless rate is at 7-year lows.
CommSec expects official interest rates to remain unchanged until later in 2019. 
Published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec