Billy Joe Whenman Blog del

Tonight, the Federal Treasurer releases the annual "fiscal statement" (aka "The Budget") and we already know that the Government is now in a period of fiscal contraction despite all the big expenditure numbers being touted in the press. I will write more about that tomorrow. But it is now 6 weeks since the Government abandoned the JobKeeper wage subsidy program and today's ABS release of the - Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 24 April 2021 - might give us some guidance as to the impact of the fiscal withdrawal in terms of job loss. The problem though is that the period in question was also a school holiday period, which confounds things somewhat. Suffice to say that the labor market is definitely not booming. It has gone backwards since the end of March but how much of that is due to the withdrawal of the wage subsidy is difficult to say at this stage. Some sectors are still enduring major job losses with Accommodation and hospitality sector 10.3 points below its March 14, 2020 employment level. Manufacturing is still 2.1 points down, Transport, postal & warehousing is down 6.8 points, and Information media & telecommunications is down 6.7 points. The sectors that have gained the most employment are Electricity, gas, water & waste services (up 3.3 points), Financial & insurance services (up 7.7 per cent), Public Administration (up 10.4 per cent) and Health care & social assistance up 4.9 per cent. Anyway, I have been using my spare time to get up to speed on all the various data trends so I can better understand what tonight’s statement is likely to do.