1 Feb 2010

Labour market expected to be shown as still weak

8:08 am on 1 February 2010

Economists expect confirmation that the labour market remained weak in the last three months of 2009, when figures on wages and employment are issued this week.

ANZ Bank senior economist Khoon Goh expects a small rise in the number of hours worked, albeit from a record low base, which will show improving demand.

But Mr Goh is forecasting the number of those in employment to fall, unemployment to rise, and soft wage growth.

He expects the number of those looking for work to continue to expand, and unemployment to peak at, or just above 7% in the first quarter of this year.