Australian Jobs Growth Surges In August

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09/14/2017 | 01:55 am


By James Glynn



SYDNEY--Australia added 54,200 new jobs in August, well above market expectations, cementing a strong uptrend over the last six months.



The country's unemployment rate was unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 5.6% in August, as more people entered the job market.



Economists surveyed ahead of the release had expected a steady jobless rate, predicting the economy would add 20,000 jobs in the month.



The number of people in full-time work rose 40,100, while those in part-time work rose 14,100, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.



The workforce participation rate rose to 65.3% in August from 65.1% in July.



Australia's job market has been a bright spot for much of this year, with full-time job creation leading an acceleration in hiring, and lowering the jobless rate.



Still, Australia faces a big problem of underemployment and flat wages growth, which is holding done consumer confidence. Underemployment decreased by 0.2 points to 8.6% in August from July.



The economy is still a long way from achieving full employment, estimated by the Reserve Bank of Australia at around 5.0%.



The RBA has kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 1.5% for over a year, and is not expected to come off the sidelines until next year at the earliest.





-Write to James Glynn at [email protected]





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