Westpac thinks Australia’s golden run of jobs growth is about to end


Australian employment has increased in each of the past 14 months, including a mammoth 61,000 gain in November.

It’s the second-longest streak on record, but it’s about to end.

That’s the view of Westpac’s economics team who are one of just two forecasters who predict employment declined in December.

“In the year to November total employment has grown 383,000,” it says.

“The pace of employment growth overshot Westpac Jobs Index which is suggesting annual growth of around 2.75%.

“The Jobs Index is not pointing to a downturn, however, growth is likely to ease back from the 3% plus pace.”

Westpac’s model estimate for Australian employment growth is shown in the chart below, overlaid against annual changes in the ABS’ official data.

Source: Westpac

While Westpac is looking for a decline in employment, some other forecasters expect it to increase by as much as 40,000.

The median forecast looks for a gain of 15,000.

If employment does increase, it will equal the longest stretch of consecutive gains on record.

The December jobs report will be released at 11.30am AEDT on Thursday, January 18.