There are lies, damned lies and statistics.
The adage was particularly true in Queensland on Thursday, when the jobless rate was up or down, depending on which figure or political party you listened to.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman jubilantly trumpted a drop in trend unemployment on Thursday, instead of using the seasonally adjusted figure preferred by economists.
The state’s jobless rate fell from 5.8 per cent to 5.7 per cent in December, which is second only to Western Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.
Some 35,200 jobs have been created in Queensland during the past year, with the Liberal National Party government pointing to trend figures showing the number of people in work increasing in 14 out of 15 months.
“This state is the engine room of the nation, of job creation,” Mr Newman said.
“And it hasn’t happened by accident, it’s happened by policies of this government.”
A media release that followed failed to mention the seasonally adjusted figures, which tell a different story.
The jobless rate increased from 5.7 to 5.9 per cent, 0.1 per cent higher than the national average.
In December, about 900 full-time workers lost their job, as the total number of employed dropped by 6600.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Newman government over-promised and is under-delivering on its 2012 election promise to reduce unemployment to four per cent.
“They are heading completely in the wrong direction,” she said.
“There are now over 12,000 families now that don’t have a job and there will be more families into the future.”