14 Jan 2010

Australian job figures surprise

8:18 pm on 14 January 2010

Unemployment in Australia tumbled from 5.6% to 5.5% in December due to the creation of 35,200 jobs.

The survey figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday show that there was a seasonally adjusted increase in fulltime employment of 7,300, with part-time employment increasing by 27,900, the ABC website reports.

The bureau also revised down the November jobless figures, which now show that the official unemployment rate was at 5.6%, not 5.7% as was initially reported.

Economists were expecting 10,000 jobs to have been created in December, with a Bloomberg survey showing the average forecast was for unemployment to rise to 5.8%, and the Reuters survey predicting unemployment to remain steady at 5.7%.

The unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 5.6% in December, after the creation of more than 30,000 jobs, almost all of which were fulltime.

That result surprised economists, and left many thinking that unemployment had already peaked at 5.8%.