Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Friday, 10 March 2017

It's the taking part that counts...


There's been plenty of focus on Australia's unemployment rate, which has improved from 6.3 per cent in October 2014 to 5.7 per cent on the latest monthly measure.  

On the other hand the labour force participation rate remains well below the levels seen in 2008, as indeed does the employment to population ratio. 

For males the participation rate has declined from 72.8 per cent at the end of 2007 to just 70 per cent in January 2017. 

The other side to this story has been the sweeping structural increase in female employment over the last few decades. 

The female employment to population ratio has trended up from 40 per cent in 1983 to 55.7 per cent in 2017, although most of this increase took place before the financial crisis too. 

In the aspirational inner suburbs it almost feels like a given that both halves of an apartment-living couple are active in the workforce today. 

Tempting though it is to see this as a capital city phenomenon, however, the ratio of females employed in the workforce has actually been increasing all around Australia, including in regional centres.

That said, simply by virtue of being the most populous cities Greater Sydney and Melbourne between them have accounted for 40 per cent of the net increase in female employment since the turn of the century. 

The rise of the dual income household has forged a tremendous shift in housing markets and relative levels of affordability - particularly in these two cities.