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Australian employment boost creates new sense of economic security

Posted on August 10, 2009
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Australian employers unexpectedly added 32,200 workers in July, bucking expectations that the jobless rate would continue to rise.

In positive news for both Australian residents and skilled workers looking to immigrate to Australia, the country’s unemployment rate remained at 5.8 per cent for July, despite economists predicting that the seasonally adjusted rate would reach at least 6 per cent.

Part-time employment increased 48,200 to 3.203 million, while full-time jobs dropped by 16,000 to 7.590 million, apparently a reflection of employers cutting hours rather than positions.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that total employment rose by 32,200 to 10.794 million; a sign that new Australian visa arrivals could expect a good chance of finding employment soon after entering the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that the static figure was an example of how the government’s stimulus spending was helping support jobs, and praised employers for holding onto employees in preparation for an economic recovery:

“The figures indicate that Australian companies have taken sensible steps to retain skilled workers where possible and in some cases offering for workers the option of converting to part-time employment,” she sais. “It’s far better for a working person to be kept in a job than to be unemployed.”

Analysts hope the July result means the jobless rate may not deteriorate to the 8.5 percent peak in 2010 forecast by the federal government.

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Xavier Augustin

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