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Unemployment down

WESTERN Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen from 6 per cent in January to 5.6 per cent last month.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell 0.1 per cent to 6 per cent.

Youth unemployment continued to decline, dropping from 26.1 per cent to 22.2 per cent in February.

The national youth unemployment rate is 23.7 per cent.

WA Premier Geoff Gallop said the State’s employment growth was strong, rising 1.2 per cent in the three months to February, the highest three-monthly increase since the three months to January 2000.

He said the annual employment growth rate of 2.3 per cent was currently above Treasury forecasts and meant that WA was on track to create a target of 125,000 new jobs in five years.

“That translates into 11,600 new jobs created in the last three months,” Dr Gallop said. “It is also encouraging that growth in full-time employment remains strong, up 2.2 per cent in the past three months, which is the biggest increase since the three months to November 1999.”

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