The Kouk's top 40 hits and misses

more Over the summer break, while fiddling through data bases, reading and just being interested in things, I unearthed a few quirky bits and pieces about the Australian economy, people, sport

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Economist

more Stephen Koukoulas has a rare and specialised professional experience over more than 25 years as an economist in Treasury, as Global Head of economic and market research, a Chief Economist
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THE LATEST FROM THE KOUK

High unemployment OK? The RBA thinks so

Wed, 20 Aug 2014

The strange thing about RBA Governor Glenn Stevens testimony to the Parliament today was his agnostic approach to a horribly weak labour market.

Stevens suggested an unemployment rate at around 6.25 per cent and likely to stay there for a couple of years was "kind of OK". The 789,000 people unemployed (plus another half a million underemployed) may beg to differ.

He was correct to note that the record low growth in wages that our flexibale labour market is delivering, would in time help to reverse the rise in the unemployment rate, but only when the pace of economic growth moves back above trend.

Dreadful labour market data - bring on an interest rate cut

Wed, 13 Aug 2014

The labour market is in dreadful shape. Not only is the unemployment at a 12 year high at a rate about 1.5 percentage points above full employment, but the employment to population ratio has slipped to a 9 year low and now annual wages growth has slumped to a level never before recorded by the Australian Bureau of statistics. There are close to 800,000 people unemployed.