Whilst the headline ABS data on unemployment may have read ok, there is a critical issue which is having a draining effect on productivity, growth, household incomes and confidence. This is the spectre of underemployment.
The trend data tells the story. There are more than one million people who, though they have some work, want more. This equates to around nine percent of the working population. Some may have just a few hours work each week, yet are counted as employed.
This has a drag effect on wage growth (which is for many at zero currently) and this flows into lower household incomes, despite rising debt and other household costs.
The mirror image is those in full time work but who are working for longer, and out of core hours thanks to the digital transformation in hand. For many of these people, work-life balance is also shot!