Jobs data melange #1

Grattan Institute have posted a study to distribute the recent SA4 payrolls data by Federal electoral division: Job losses caused by COVID-19, electorate by electorate

This is fine and broadly useful in a sense but maybe misses stuff:

“We estimate the share of payroll jobs lost in each electorate by taking the share of jobs lost in all SA4s overlapping the electorate, and then calculating a weighted average job loss based on the percentage of the electorate’s residents living in each overlapping SA4 in 2016.”

However jobs lost within an SA4 will not be consistent across the area and we can see this from the recent post from different DSS Jobseeker data by SA2 relative to labour force by SA2: Jobs data: but what does it mean?

Leichhardt appears at #15 out of 151 electoral divisions in the Grattan analysis with a job loss of -8.5%. Kennedy at #27 nationally with a job loss of -7.7%. Kennedy overlaps three SA4 divisions. Leichhardt overlaps two. In the SA2 Jobseeker data the relative losses are predominantly in the Leichhardt area of Cairns SA4. If this is representative of the payroll data it would skew the results when distributed regardless of pro-rata population by SA4.

Electoral boundaries are usually defined by SA1 areas. The boundary between Leichhardt and Kennedy is well defined on SA2 boundaries. This allows us to break down the DSS data which shows that in April Jobseekers in the Leichhardt component of Cairns SA4 increased by 6.2% of the labour force between March and April while in the Kennedy component it increased by only 4.2%.

Cairns SA4 comprises a bit more than 60% of Kennedy voters based on the AEC redistribution report from 2017. So a quick conservative estimated adjustment to the Grattan data would boost Leichhardt into the top ten of job losses while Kennedy would drop twenty places or more down the list. That ignores the diversity of other SA4 regions such as Outback where the Kennedy component is mostly around Mt Isa and the Leichhardt component is Cape York. Kennedy also includes parts of Townsville SA4 around the outer fringe of the city, Charters Towers and Ingham.

Regardless, what stands out most is the absence of marginal electoral divisions among the highest losses in payrolls. Leichhardt is a rarity near the top of both lists.

Update: Grattan Institute have since removed this analysis from their website.

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