If you say it quickly it doesn’t sound that much in these days of trillions of this and that. Just 40 million hours a month. That’s what the number of hours worked by Australians has fallen by from July last year to the August just ended. The Australian Bureau of Statistics now provides this extra trend data on the total number of hours worked. They reached a high of 1,551 million in July 2008.but have now fallen to the August figure 1,511 million. That’s quite a drop and goodness knows what it would have been without the additional government spending and that big cut in interest rates.
Those measures have kept the traditional unemployment measure steady for the month iin seasonally adjusted terms at 5.8%, helped by a 0.2 percentage point fall in the participation rate which measures those people actually looking for work. In terms of actual jobs there was a fall of 27,100 during August.