According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in November the Australian unemployment rate fell by 0.2 per cent despite economists predicting an increase of 0.1 per cent.
The statistics compiled by the Sydney-based bureau showed that in October the jobless rate stood at 5.4 per cent. The rate for November now stands at 5.2 per cent.
Economists participating in a Bloomberg survey also forecast that the number of people employed would hold at its previous level, but it actually increased by 13,900.
The mining industry was not deterred from hiring despite the uncertain global economic outlook and the sector was largely responsible for this drive in employment. Western Australia and Queensland (two of the country’s most important mining/resource driven states) experienced a drop in unemployment, of 0.5 and 0.1 per cent respectively.
Following the data release the Australian Dollar strengthened, posting particular gains against its American counterpart.
An Asian-Pacific researcher with TD Securities Inc. commented: ‘The economy is still in terrific shape and therefore we can expect to see the Aussie Dollar remain well over parity into 2013 and the RBA’s work is nearly done. ‘
The news wasn’t all positive though. The report also showed that despite part-time employment increasing by 18,100 in November, the number of full-time jobs dropped by 4,200.
The South Pacific nation’s participation rate (which measures the labour force in proportion to the population) also declined, edging down from October’s revised figure of 65.2 per cent to 65.1 per cent last month.
UBS AG’s chief Australia economist stated: ‘Unemployment will probably rise from here. Whatever the outcome ahead, today’s data suggests the RBA is on hold at 3 per cent for more than a couple of months.’
This is in line with Reserve Bank of Australia Glenn Stevens assertion earlier this week. He said: ‘Looking further ahead, with the labour market softening somewhat and unemployment edging higher, conditions are working to contain pressure on labour costs.’
As of 10:00 am
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2318
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6115
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5366
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.3079
The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.8115