Australia unemployment rate steady at 5.1%

”Australia

Figures today revealed Australia’s jobs market remains strong after employment hit a record high of 11.1 million people at work.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the economy created almost 46,000 jobs last month - smashing analysts forecasts of 15,000.

The latest figures means the unemployment rate held steady at 5.1%.

Westpac Bank expects the unemployment rate to fall to 5% by the end of the year.

Employment Minister Simon Crean said: “Australia’s strong labour force figures stand in stark contrast to the stubbornly high unemployment rates still being experienced in many other advanced economies, where the aftershocks from the crisis are continuing to reverberate.”

Mr Crean added that the country’s employment is the “envy of most of our major trading partners.”

Following the news, the Australian dollar was up almost a US cent higher to 87.44 US cents.

Australia is one of the few developed economies not to have fallen into recession like its counterparts throughout the world as it has benefited from an increase in commodity prices, while exports have received a boost due to demand from China for its iron ore and other raw materials.

It was the first economy to raise rates from a 50-year low as the economic downturn eased. Other major economies opted for lower interest rates to boost their economies.

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