ASB Expects to Report on Thursday 5.9% Unemployment Rate in May

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By Vittorio Hernandez | June 11, 2014 7:54 AM EST

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ASB) will release on Thursday the country's unemployment figure, and it is expected to report a 5.9 percent joblessness rate for May.

That would be slightly higher than the 5.8 per cent logged in April, reports The Australian.

Economists surveyed by AAP said that they expect that the Australian economy would have added 10,000 jobs in May, while the labour participation rate would remain unchanged at 64.7 per cent.

But JP Morgan chief economist Stephen Walters pointed out that with the mining industry into its export phase, there is less need for workers compared to the investment boom phase that was very labour intensive.

"So there's a lot of jobs, probably 40,000 or 50,000 jobs, being spun out of the mining investment boom and they need to be taken up somewhere else ... But it doesn't seem like there's a lot of appetite out there for hiring, particularly in retail, manufacturing and finance," Walters explained.

In the public sector, another 16,500 jobs would be cut, based on the federal government's May budget, which had business worried about consumer confidence due to the tough spending cuts in the budget.

"The main thing business needs to see is stronger demand, which has been given a boost by low interest rates and the decline in the Aussie dollar from 2011 levels," said AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver.

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