AMP chief economist Shane Oliver has released a startling chart that highlights the narrowing gap between Australia’s unemployment rate and that of the US.
The chart follows today’s ABS data release that put Australia’s unemployment rate at 5.8% in August, a 0.1% increase from the previous month.
Unemployment has been a huge political issue in the US since the 07-08 global financial crisis, which put a record number of Americans out of work.
But while US unemployment has fallen steadily since, Australian unemployment has grown since about 2011 to approach Australia’s post-GFC high of 5.9%.
And as Australian mining investment slows, unemployment is expected to reach 6.25% next year.
Here’s AMP’s chart:
Oliver notes that the Australian workforce participation rate has fallen to 65% since the GFC, as more people retire or give up searching for a job.
“If the participation rate were still at its June 2009 level of 65.5%, the unemployment rate would now be 6.5%,” he wrote.
“Australia’s jobs market is still much stronger than the US, but as can be seen, the gap in the unemployment rate between the two countries is closing rapidly.”