Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday welcomed the latest jobs figures that showed Australia has one of the lowest jobless rates in the industrialized world, saying that it highlights the resilience of an economy amid the increasingly uncertain global backdrop.
Latest data showed jobless rate unexpectedly declining to 5.2 percent in October, from an upwardly revised 5.3 percent in September. The fall came as the number of people in employment grew by 10,100.
While Australia's share-market fell around three percent on Thursday morning due to fresh fears about the stability of Italy and Greece debt crisis, Gillard said that Australia was not immune from global economic uncertainty, but the nation's economy was resilient, mainly due to strong resource prices.
"There are other sectors of the economy under pressure, like manufacturing, and as a government we want to make sure that we come through this resources boom with a strong diversified economy, " she told reporters.
Jobs Minister Chris Evans said the October labor data showed Australia had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the industrialized world, with the U.S. jobless rate at 9.0 percent, the United Kingdom at a 17-year high of 8.1 percent and the Eurozone at 10.2 percent.
"So despite the international factors that are impacting on our economy and the impacts they have on confidence, we're still seeing solid jobs growth if not perhaps as strong as last year, that jobs are still growing," he told reporters, adding "the signs are good that the economy is staying resilient and jobs growth continues."
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) this month announced to cut interest rate by 0.25 percent to 4.5 percent, and Senator Evans said that the move would build confidence for consumers, and hopefully flow through to further strong employment figures.
Meanwhile, Paul Bloxham, Chief Economist of HSBC Australia and New Zealand, said despite Thursday's data, a significant downward revision to global growth prospects could see RBA consider rate cuts on those grounds.
Commonwealth Securities chief economist Craig James agreed, saying that any rate cut in December was going to be more determined by the situation in Europe.