Media wrong on unemployment, again

All the jour­nal­ists have to do is to read the ABS release. It’s right there on the top: the third line in the Key Fig­ures. The trend rate shows an increase from 5.4% to 5.5% over the month of April.

Thank God! Now all those con­found­ed econ­o­mists can relax! The trend rate in unem­ploy­ment is not para­dox­i­cal and (still) not alarming.

Why should the ABC (and oth­ers) be using the trend rate rather than the volatile ‘sea­son­al­ly adjust­ed’ num­ber? Here’s the expla­na­tion I offered last time, draw­ing on the infor­ma­tion that the ABS pro­vides in its eas­i­ly under­stood releases.

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