Members commenced their discussion of the domestic economy by noting that labour market conditions had continued to improve, although spare capacity remains. Employment had risen further in July, the participation rate had edged higher and the unemployment rate had remained steady at 5.6 per cent.
Full-time employment had risen strongly over the preceding year (even though it had declined in July) and had outpaced the growth in part-time employment over that period. Members noted that the improvement in the labour market since late 2016 had been broadly based across the states. Forward indicators suggested that the improvement in labour market conditions was likely to continue. Members discussed current influences on the participation rate, noting in particular the rise in participation by older female workers as they delayed their retirement.
While unemployment rates in Queensland and Western Australia had remained high relative to earlier periods, employment growth in those states had risen, suggesting that the labour market adjustment to the earlier decline in the terms of trade and falling mining investment was progressing. In the context of a broader discussion of economic developments in Queensland, members observed that economic conditions in the state had generally strengthened over recent quarters, reflecting continued growth in consumption and, increasingly, a pick-up in business investment and public demand. Strength in tourism and other service industries had supported growth in aggregate demand in Queensland. In contrast, population growth had been below average, reflecting lower net overseas and interstate migration.
Read the full RBA Document (link below) including:
- Domestic Economic Conditions
- International Economic Conditions
- Financial Markets
- Considerations for Monitary Policy
- Rates Decision
Source: RBA Philip Lowe (Governor and Chair),