CANBERRA, AAP – Economists are predicting a marked turnaround in Australia’s jobs market as a result of the most recent coronavirus lockdowns coming to an end.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its labour force report for November on Thursday.
Economists’ forecasts point to a large 200,000 employment increase in November, although expectations range for gains of between 150,000 and 280,000.
However, this would still be well short of the 378,000 employment positions the ABS estimates were lost during the September quarter when the lockdowns were at their height.
The unemployment rate is predicted to fall to five per cent after the unexpected spike to 5.2 per cent in October, but again forecasts range from a fall to 4.7 per cent to a further rise to 5.5 per cent.
At the same time, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will also hand down his mid-year budget review on Thursday, which is expected to show Treasury’s unemployment forecasts cut.
“While we have avoided the scarring of the labour market that was characteristic of the 1980s and 1990s recessions, there are still many more new jobs to create,” Mr Frydenberg says.
“We have the economic plan to do this with the Treasury estimating around a million new jobs to be created over the next four years.”
Forecasts in the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook are expected to see the unemployment rate cut to 4.5 per cent by the June quarter of next year compared to the estimate of five per cent in the May budget.
By the June quarter 2023 it is estimated to be 4.25 per cent rather than the 4.75 per cent predicted seven months ago.
Heading into these twin events, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe will deliver a speech to the CPA Australia Riverina Business Conference on “The RBA and the Australian Economy”.
Following last week’s final RBA board meeting of the year, Dr Lowe gave a largely upbeat appraisal for the economic outlook, but reiterated the central bank would remain patient about raising the cash rate.