Australia’s jobless rate holds steady at 4.9%

| June 9, 2011 | 0 Comments
Australia's jobless rate holds steady at 4.9%

Figures today revealed Australia’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.9% in May.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the economy created just 7,800 jobs last month – far worse than the 25,000 analysts had forecast.

However, the number was offset by a rise of 29,800 in part-time employment, which helped maintain the jobless rate.

Australia, dubbed as the “wonder from Down Under”, 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.

However, recent figures showed the economy contracted in the first quarter after flood and cyclone disasters led to a fall in coal and agricultural exports.

The economy contracted by 1.2% in the January to March period – the first time growth has fallen since the final quarter of 2008 – at the height of the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, analysts described today’s jobs data as “disappointing” and as a result of the figures, many believe the Reserve Bank of Australia may not lift interest rates for some time.

In comparison, the unemployment rate in the US stands at 9.1%, the UK’s is 7.7%, while unemployment in the 17-member euro zone is currently 9.9%.

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