2 May 2011

Australia's budget forecasts 500,000 more jobs

1:42 pm on 2 May 2011

The Australian Government has said its budget this month will forecast an extra 500,000 jobs to be created over the next two years.

Federal treasurer Wayne Swan said on Sunday that secure employment would be the central emphasis of the 10 May budget.

He said the budget will focus on breaking welfare dependency and moving more people into the workforce.

The unemployment rate would fall to 4.5% over the next couple of years, he said.

Mr Swan declined to say exactly what measures would be taken to put the long-term unemployed back into jobs, the ABC reports.

A leading Australian economist told the ABC the budget jobs forecast is reasonable and suggests the Government is taking an optimistic view of the economy.

Saul Eslake from the Grattan Institute says the prediction actually represents a slight slowing of jobs growth, but that is no surprise.

A manager at New Zealand's Employers and Manufacturers' Association, Bruce Goldsworthy, doesn't believe the forecast growth will make a big difference to the trend of New Zealanders moving to Australia for work.

He expects there will also be growth in New Zealand and believes New Zealanders would prefer to live in this country, provided they can get a good job.