The chart below shows Australia's jobless rate versus the U.S, UK, Eurozone and Japan.
It's interesting that while Japan's economy has been one of the worst performing (if not THE worst performing) developed economy in the world for many years now, yet it is able to maintain full employment across the cycle.
Its partly due to corporate welfare (the social contract between govt and big companies), but mostly due to demographics. The economy has actually done okay on a per capita basis since the 90s.
Hello David, quite right and Pat for all the naysayers on the ABS data Australia's unemployment has been driven lower by the powerhouse that is New South Wales. In light of the depression surrounding WA and Qld the job numbers are quite solid.
Given the strength of the recent employment numbers it wouldn't be too surprising if the unemployment rate fell to 5.5- 5.6 within the next six months. It increasingly appear that the stubbornly high unemployment rate over the past two years had much to do with the political situation.