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  • Henry Thornton & friends

Economic snippets, Sept 2018

Gender inequality in the news again, 28/9

Gender inequality in the news again, recently on Credlin, today in the OZ, presented in both places by John Slater of the Menzies Research Centre.

'What might McManus make of an industry where top ranking executives are paid in excess of $36,000 more each year than their female counterparts? Or a business where female executives are outnumbered by males by 2.5 to one?

'That is the width of the gender pay gap in the union movement that McManus represents. Analysis by the Menzies Research Centre of disclosures to the Registered Organisations Commission reveals that males employed as one of the top five officials in a major trade union take home an average pay packet of $199,580, whereas women receive $162,469'

Also 'The analysis .... reveals a conspicuous lack of female representation in the upper echelons of the union movement. Among the 11 largest trade unions to disclose their highest paid staff, just 14 of 53 were women.'

Read on here, for facts that make Australia's union movement very old fashioned and massively hypocritical whenever it opines on gender fairness.

US Fed raises cash interest rates, 27/9

The US fed continued its progress of raising interest rates. It changed its previous approach described a 'accommodative' monetary policy by dropping the adjective.

Despite many such rate hikes, US share prices surged. Presumably investors do not yet expect the adjective to become 'tightening' any time soon.

Budget estimates improve, 26/9

Australia's budget deficit for 2017/18 has reduced from a previous prediction of $19 billion to an actual of $10 billion.

Good news, due to higher employment growth, therefore higher tax receipts and some 'one offs'. But provided the emerging surplus is not frittered away by a series of 'one off' election promises, this should make prediction for 2018/19 a small surplus. Well done to successive Coalition governments.

Gender earnings inequality, 25/9

Like Bill Shorten, the government statistician assets that Australia has an ongoing problem of gender inequality. Average women's pay apparently stuck at 89 % of men's pay.

But wait says economist Professor Judith Sloan. Appearing on Credlin last night, Professor Sloan deconstructed the data to allow more accurately for real differences. Allowing for job type meant real pay difference is around 5 %. Then the killer blow. 'Many women are happy to occupy jobs that allow them time to bring up children properly', or words to that effect.

US wages, jobs grow, 13/9

The Bureau of Labor Statistics added a little fuel to the inflation fire on Friday morning, as it reported a 0.4% month-over-month rise in take-home pay for August.

That was only slightly above the 0.3% expectation. But, coupled with the 2.9% year-over-year gain against a 2.8% forecast, it’s just more evidence wage growth is picking up, too.

Non-farm payrolls increased by 201,000, beating a consensus forecast of 195,000. At the same time, July’s jobs-gain estimate was adjusted lower by 10,000.

The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.9%, though observers expected it to tick down to 3.8%.

The labor force participation rate came in at 62.7%, down from 62.9% and topping a forecast of 62.8%.

The wage growth is the thing. It’s been a persistent problem for 10 years.

But, now, it could make it an easy decision for the Federal Open Market Committee to boost rates later this month.

Aussie jobs growth strong, 13/9

August employment statistics were a gift for Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, JoFry to his pals. A bit soon for him to claim responsibility, and as the old pros recall, monthly jobs data are famously unreliable.

For what they are worth:

* The rate of unemployment constant at 5.3 %. (Recall the more accurate Roy Morgan- Henry Thornton numbers are about twice this number.)

* Full time jobs up by 33.7 thousand.

* Part time jobs up by 10.2 thousand.

* Participation rate upslightly to 65.7 % of workforce.

No fresh news on wages growth but in Henry's view still too soon to see any increase.

Henry Thornton & Roy Morgan True Unemployment

Although jobs growth in Australian remains strong Henry's True Unemployment measure shows 20.4% of Australians are part of Australia's discouraged workforce - out of work even if not measured as part of the official ABS statistics.

The Henry Thornton True Unemployment figure comprises the monthly Roy Morgan unemployment and under-employment figures as well as the latest ABS Hidden Unemployed survey results with a twist of Henry.

US Fed's lending conspiracy

See News + Views item in RHS panel.

Economist claims total currency swapping during GFC was $ 1 Trillion.

Henry's sources say $ 11 Trillion.

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