Australia's unemployment rate edges up to 6.0%

GMT 03:47 2015 Thursday ,09 July

Arab Today, arab today Australia's unemployment rate edges up to 6.0%

The Australian economy
Sydney - AFP

Australia's jobless rate inched up to 6.0 percent in June, official data showed Thursday, as more people entered the labour force and amid signs that companies were hiring additional workers.

Some 7,300 jobs were added to the economy, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with 24,500 new full-time roles and 17,200 fewer part-time positions.

The seasonally adjusted data was slightly better than what economists expected. Analysts had forecast the unemployment rate to edge up to 6.1 percent with a loss of 5,000 positions after a strong increase of 42,000 roles in May.

The May unemployment rate was revised down to 5.9 percent from 6.0 percent by the statistics bureau.

The Australian dollar rose one-third of a US cent after the data was released to 74.55 US cents.
"I thought it was a good set of numbers," Barclays' chief economist for Australia Kieran Davies told AFP.

"You had the (employment) surveys showing that job ads have been picking up for some time. It's a positive development that companies are putting on full-time workers.

"I think it also suggests that we might get the recovery in non-mining (capital expenditure) coming through because normally when companies are hiring they are prepared to invest more as well."

The participation rate, which measures the proportion of adults in work or looking for work, rose from 64.7 to 64.8 percent.

Total aggregate hours worked rose 5.1 million hours to 1,636.9 million hours.

The Australian economy has experienced an unsteady exit from an unprecedented boom in mining investment, which has helped the nation avoid recession for more than two decades.

But the recent sharp fall-off in resources investment has yet to be fully replaced, with spending by non-mining firms still subdued. The jobless rate has pushed higher over the past year, peaking at an almost 13-year high of 6.3 percent in January and October last year.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates to a new record low of 2.0 percent in May to boost support to non-mining sectors.

Meanwhile, the resources-dependent economy has been hit by the sharp plunge in key commodity exports, particularly its largest export iron ore.


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