Australian employment rate rises in April

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed 50,100 people had found employment in Australia in April, far exceeding the rather conservative target of just 12,000.

The rise meant that the unemployment rate stayed at a healthy 5.5% and, with almost 35,000 of the total number finding full time employment, forecasts a bright future for the Australian economy and labour market.

Official predictions were initially conservative due to an expected increase in the number of people looking for work, a prediction which, while true, with 65.3% of people looking for work, did little to dampen the positive rates.

"The labour force data continues to surprise, there is clearly a positive pulse in the Australian economy," said Michael Blythe, chief economist at Commonwealth Bank.

The decline in unemployment also spelled good news for the Australian Dollar, which pushed the exchange rate above US$1.02.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the figures proved the Australian economy's resilience in the face of tough global financial times, but that there was still room for further improvement.

"Overall the job market is in good, but probably not great, shape," Mr James said.

"Still the jobless rate remains well below 6%, a level that it has held below for almost a decade. The last time the jobless rate remained below 6% for an extended period was in the 1970s.

Clearly this is a result to be celebrated."


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