Australia’s unemployment rate fell in December to 5.8 per cent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with fewer jobs lost than what economists were expecting. Economists predicted 5.9 per cent. Last year was the strongest year for job growth since 2006, with the country’s services sector propelling gains.
The economy lost just 1,000 new jobs at the end of 2015 versus the 10,000 loss economists were expecting. Details were positive, as full-time jobs increased by nearly 18,000.
The participation rate in December was 65.1 per cent, compared to 65.3 per cent in November and economists’ expectations of 65.2 per cent.
Meanwhile November’s unemployment rate was revised up to 5.9 per cent. The number of new jobs added in November actually increased, to 74,900 from 71,400, making November the best month for jobs since July 1994. Of these additions, 27,600 were part-time and 47,300 were full-time.
Most people will conclude that the economy is doing well and transitioning away from mining toward service sectors.
The Australian dollar was little changed at 69.39 U.S. cents at 12:54 p.m. in Sydney from 69.37 cents before the data were released.
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