Australian Employment data surprises

Australia’s unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 5.3 per cent in July as more people sought work.

Investors initially sold off the dollar as the surprise weakness all but ruled out another rise in official interest rates this year.

The jobless rate jumped from the 5.1 per cent recorded for both May and June, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Analysts had predicted the steady rate to continue.

“The cash rate probably will be left unchanged at 4.5 per cent into 2011 because trend inflation is falling neatly back into the (Reserve Bank’s) 2-3 per cent band,” said Macquarie interest rate strategist Rory Robertson.

For the month of July, companies added 23,500 jobs – more than the 20,000 expected – taking the total employed to 11.23 million. Firms added 27,700 part-time positions but shed 4200 full-time ones, the first decline in almost a year.

Australia’s labour market had been one of the brightest spots in an economic recovery that remains patchy. Today’s jobs figures are the last major economic indicators before Australians go to the polls on August 21.

Sydney Morning HeraldSydney Morning Herald

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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
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