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Australian unemployment up to 5.1 percent

SYDNEY: Australia's unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent in May despite the creation of 38,900 jobs, according to the latest data.The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said the jobless rate inched up slightly from an upwardly-revised 5.0 percent in April, as more people started looking for work and the economy created thousands of new positions.An...

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 7, 2012 | Last Updated: 9 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jun 7, 2012 | Last Updated: 9 years ago
Australian unemployment up to 5.1 percent

SYDNEY: Australia's unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent in May despite the creation of 38,900 jobs, according to the latest data.The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said the jobless rate inched up slightly from an upwardly-revised 5.0 percent in April, as more people started looking for work and the economy created thousands of new positions.An increase in the total pool of jobseekers — the participation rate — will drive up the jobless rate even though extra positions are created.”The number of people employed increased by 38,900 to 11,537,900 in May,” the ABS said on Thursday.The result, in line with forecasts, follows a robust economic growth reading for the first three months of 2012 which came in Wednesday at almost double expectations as Australia rides an unprecedented resources boom.Australia grew 1.3 percent in the March quarter, taking annual growth to a stellar 4.3 percent — far outstripping its counterparts in the developed world which are struggling with the eurozone's debt crisis.Economists said the jobs figures supported a picture of strong growth even though conditions had deteriorated in recent months.”The jobs numbers suggest the strong momentum we saw from GDP (growth) has actually continued through well into the second quarter despite what is going on globally,” said Citi analyst Josh Williamson.Su-Lin Ong, from RBC Capital Markets, said the jobless rate had been at a level widely considered as near-full employment for almost 12 months and was “broadly consistent” with the growth figures.Asia's demand for its raw materials saw Australia dodge recession during the financial crisis and the resources industry continued to underpin its economic strength, according to the ABS, which issued a special note on mining jobs.In the nation's key resource states — coal-mining Queensland and New South Wales and iron ore-rich Western Australia — unemployment was much lower than 15 years ago, with joblessness in those states down between 3.0-4.3 percent since then.Western Australia, home to BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto's flagship mining operations, had unemployment of just 4.1 percent, with the industry accounting for 8.5 percent of jobs.However, mining and related sectors employed just 3.9 percent of people across the major resources states and “still employ relatively few people in comparison to the growing professional and service industries”, the ABS said.The Australian dollar jumped half a US cent on the jobs data, hitting 99.45 US cents from 98.96 and edging back towards parity in afternoon trade.It was last level with the greenback on May 14. AGENCIES

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