Australian employment beat expectations with a small rise in May while the jobless rate surprised by ticking down to 5.5 percent, a resilient result that lengthened the odds on a cut in interest rates next month.
Thursday’s data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the country added 1,100 net jobs in May, a solid outcome given analysts had expected a drop of around 10,000 following an outsized gain of 45,000 the month before.
That left employment up almost 100,000 so far this year and the jobless rate all but stable, countering some of the worst fears of an economic slowdown.
“The unemployment rate is holding at levels that look pretty good compared to just about everywhere else,” said Michael Blythe, chief economist at Commonwealth Bank.
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