Australian labour market – stronger employment growth in August demonstrates how ineffective monetary policy is

Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest – Labour Force, Australia – for August 2023 today (September 14, 2023). Employment growth was strong in August and kept pace with the underlying population growth and the participation rise so that unemployment remained steady. The weaker result in July was probably mostly reflecting the rotation in the sample. However, there are now 10.2 per cent of the available and willing working age population who are being wasted in one way or another – either unemployed or underemployed. That extent of idle labour means Australia is not at full employment despite the claims by the mainstream commentators. The other point is that the relatively steady unemployment rate indicates how ineffective monetary policy has been, given the RBA’s intention to push unemployment up to 4.5 per cent through a sequence of interest rate rises since May 2022. Unemployment has barely budged.

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