Sept Jobs Data Exceeds Expectations, Signals Better Months Ahead

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October 13, 2011 2:01 PM EST

The Australian economy surprisingly generated more jobs in September, exceeding expectations set earlier by economists, according to the latest employment report released on Thursday by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS reported that a total of 20,400 new jobs were made available last month, improving the nationwide jobless rate from the 5.3 percent posted in August to 5.2 percent achieved by the economy in the following month.

The latest figures detracted from earlier projections that a steady movement should be seen by the last month of the third quarter, averaging at least on the 5.3 percent level seen in August, which was a spike of 0.1 percent recorded in the month.

The new job data also indicated that significant numbers of Australians were hired in the month as full-time workers as 10,800 workers secured job tenures in September for a total of 8.04 million employees listed in the period.

Also, the ABS said that 9600 new workers joined the ranks of some 3.41 million considered as part-time workers in Australia.

Aussies who actively applied for employment in the month reached a seasonally adjusted level of 65.6 percent in September, which the ABS said was relatively flat when compared to the number of job seekers in the previous month.

In terms of the total number of working hours in the month, Australian workers experienced less working hours in September, which the ABS data showed has dipped by 0.6 percent, coming from the 0.3 percent jump seen in August.

The new indicator slightly pushed up the Australian dollar value but analysts are still doubtful that the central bank will be prompted to slash its policy rate.

While City Index chief market analyst Peter Esho hailed the new job figures as indicative of a strong Australian economy he insisted that "the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is unlikely to move rates lower unless there is a large risk to jobs and this set of data validates our conviction."

"With the unemployment rate falling, retail sales continuing to surprise on the upside and business confidence pointing higher, the prospect of an RBA official rate cut next month will quickly diminish," Esho told The Australian.

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