Friday, July 13, 2012

Australia Finally Running Out Of Luck?

After roughly two decades of more or less uninterrupted growth, it now seems that Australia might be running out of luck. Employment fell by 27,000 in June, reducing yearly growth to 0.4%. 0.4% growth is actually a lot worse than  it sounds as Australia's population is growing by about 1.5% per year and as a result the unemployment rate is up (though still relatively low at 5.2%) even as the labor force participation rate is down.

Australia's good fortune has mostly been driven by increased commodity exports to China. But with China slowing down, exports have stopped growing and so has employment.