13 January 2011

Australian economy shows strength with unemployment at two year low

Australia has recorded its lowest unemployment rate in two years, new figures from December have shown.

Australian economy

A low unemployment rate and a boom in the mining and resources section is continuing to give strength to the Australian economy.

Australia's unemployment rate was a seasonally adjusted 5.0 per cent in December, compared with an unrevised 5.2 per cent in November, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said today.

The Australian economy is fairing reasonably well thanks to a mining and resources boom. Unemployment levels are expected to further fall in the coming year to between 4 to 5 per cent, similar levels as during the previous mining boom.

The Employment Minister, Chris Evans, said rebuilding after the Queensland floods would boost jobs, especially in Queensland and northern NSW.

''There's no doubt there will be huge immediate impacts on employment as a result of the floods. My department is working with Centrelink to provide disaster recovery payments that will provide income support.

"But longer term, clearly there is going to be growth in work associated with the recovery," Senator Evans said.

The fall in the unemployment rate was due to a decrease in the record high participation rate of a 65.8 per cent in December, from a downwardly revised 66.0 per cent in November.

Total employment rose by 2,300 to 11.417 million in the month, seasonally adjusted.

Full-time employment rose by 1,700 to 8.034 million in December and part-time employment was up by 600 to 3.383 million.

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