12 Feb 2010

50,000 new jobs created in Australia

1:11 pm on 12 February 2010

The Australian labour market has created more new jobs for a third consecutive month in January - more than 50,000.

Latest figures show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.3%, with 52,700 more people employed during the month.

That's 20,000 more than even the most optimistic forecast among 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

But the number of hours worked fell 1%, indicating employers are shifting workers from full to part time, to keep them on the books.

Given that weakness, Nomura chief economist Stephen Roberts says it's unlikely the Reserve Bank will increase interest rates next month.

The official rate is currently 3.75%.