07/08/2008 - 09:46

WA jobless rate dips to 3.1%

07/08/2008 - 09:46

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The jobless rate in Western Australia has decreased to a seasonally adjusted 3.1 per cent in July while the national rate remained unchanged at 4.3 per cent.

The jobless rate in Western Australia has decreased to a seasonally adjusted 3.1 per cent in July while the national rate remained unchanged at 4.3 per cent.

WA's figures, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, fell from 3.2 per cent recorded in June and dropped from 3.3 per cent reported during July 2007.

The state had the lowest unemployment rate compared to other states and territories.

Queensland, which recorded an unemployment rate of 3.7 per cent, led the job gains with an increase of 17,200 people employed during the July month, WA was up 15,000 while South Australia saw a lift of 3500.

Employment fell in New South Wales, down 17,600, Victoria dropped 2,200 and Tasmania was dipped 500.

Nationally the number of people in full-time employment surged by 53,700 in July putting employment figures at odds with other data suggesting the economy is slowing sharply.

The Reserve Bank of Australia indicated this week that it was on the brink of ending a six-year run of interest rate hikes in light of evidence of an economic slowdown.

The total number of people employed in July rose by a seasonally-adjusted 10,900, but part-time jobs dropped 42,800, the ABS said.

Economists had expected total employment to rise by a slim 1,300.

CommSec equities analyst Savanth Sebastian said the latest employment figures represent great news for the economy.

"The labour market has managed to remain in good shape. The jobless rate has remained at 4.3 per cent for the last four months - a major achievement considering the perfect storm of factors that have hit the economy," Mr Sebastian said.

"The latest job figures highlight the much better economic conditions noted earlier this year however there has been a change of scenery in the last couple of months. Domestic demand has deteriorated, with retail trade, consumer sentiment and business confidence having all fallen by the way side.

"Employers are attempting to shore up profitability by controlling costs, and with labour costs effectively a large component of any business, it is likely to weaken in coming months.

"While we believe employment will continue to soften it is unlikely to slide. "

The ABS has warned its jobs series could prove more volatile after it had to cut its labour force sample size by 24 per cent due to the bureau's enforced cost-cutting exercise in the budget.

 

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