The results of the ABS’ monthly labour report came as a pleasant surprise on Thursday: in December, the unemployment rate tumbled to lows not seen the start of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
Given the proliferation of job adverts in recent months, and all the stories of businesses scrambling to fill positions, the decline in unemployment was expected—but the margins to which the rate fell are especially pleasing on the eye.
From 4.6% in November, the uptake of some 64,800 new jobs saw the jobless rate plunge to 4.2% in December.
Ok, that data was collected before Omicron entered the conversation, but it’s nevertheless a cause for optimism about Australia’s economic recovery. There’s growing faith in government that the current wave won’t be as damaging as the last ones.
If that happens to be the case, wage growth may finally be on the horizon. Economists are cautiously predicting wages to start rising in 2022. Some believe wage growth will accelerate at its fastest pace in years.
So, provided we weather the Omicron storm relatively unscathed, our pay packets should begin to swell in the coming months. That’s some news I think all of us can get behind.