08/10/2009 - 09:12

WA jobless rate rises to 5.8% in Sep

08/10/2009 - 09:12

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Western Australia's unemployment rate has risen to a seasonally adjusted 5.8 per cent in September, bucking the national 0.1 per cent fall, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.

Western Australia's unemployment rate has risen to a seasonally adjusted 5.8 per cent in September, bucking the national 0.1 per cent fall, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.

Latest figures showed the state's jobless rate rose from a seasonally adjusted 5.4 per cent in August, however compared to a year ago, the unemployment rate has almost doubled from 3 per cent.

The number of unemployed people in Western Australia increased from August's 66,500 to 70,500 while the total number of people employed fell from 1.158 million to 1.152 million.

The number of people in employed in a full-time capacity increased from 809,900 to 815,900 while the state's participation rate fell from August's 68.5 per cent to 68.2 per cent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose dipped to 5.7 per cent with total employment rising by 40,600 to 10.806 million in September.

Full-time employment rose by 35,400 to 7.590 million in the month and part-time employment was up by 5,200 to 3.216 million.

The participation rate in September was 65.2 per cent, compared with 65.1 per cent in August.

The median market forecast was for total employment to have declined by 10,000 in September, an unemployment rate of 6.0 per cent and a participation rate of 65.1 per cent.

The ABS report also showed that aggregate hours worked by employed people in Australia rose by 0.9 per cent per cent in September, seasonally adjusted.

This followed a fall of 0.3 per cent in August.

Aggregate hours worked were down by 1.4 per cent from September 2008.

RBC Capital Markets senior economist Su-Lin Ong said the report was a sign of the underlying strength of the Australian economy, but the good news also increased the chance of the RBA lifting the cash rate in the short term.

"It was very strong across the board, with employment surging in September, and well above consensus," she said.

"Quite possibly, I guess, it will have the policy makers wondering if we've seen the peak (in unemployment) in this cycle.

"It completely supports and justifies the RBA's decision to begin its policy tightening cycle this week, we continue to think they will raise rates further in the coming months."

The central bank raised the cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent on Tuesday, saying the economy was no longer at risk of contracting and that it was "prudent" to start removing some of its recent monetary policy stimulus.

The ABS data also showed that full-time employment rose by 35,400 to 7.590 million in September while part-time employment was up by 5,200 to 3.216 million.

The participation rate in September was 65.2 per cent, up from 65.1 per cent in August.

Economists also said the new data, coupled with other leading indicators like this week's ANZ job advertisements survey for September, showed the peak in the unemployment rate was likely to turn out to be around six per cent.

"The jobless rate now looks like peaking at around six per cent, well below government forecasts of eight per cent," CommSec chief equities economist Craig James said.

While RBA governor Glenn Steven recently said the peak in unemployment may be "six point something", the latest round of data suggestsedhis view may now be conservative, Mr James added.

National Australia Bank senior economist David de Garis said it was clear the unemployment rate was unlikely to reach the federal government's May budget forecasts.

"Unemployment might climb above six per cent but it does not look like it will go far above six per cent at this stage," he said.

The number of jobs advertised in newspapers and on the internet rose by 4.4 per cent in September, the ANZ survey published on Monday said. It was the strongest monthly increase since December 2007.

Mr de Garis said the ABS data showed there was good momentum in the economy during the third quarter of 2009 and almost ensured a rate rise by the RBA next month.

"It almost puts into concrete another 25 basis points rise in November," he said.

"But I do think they will want to take it gradually given the global situation and ensure the recovery is durable and is on track."

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options