Jobless rate holds at 5pc as economy creates 39,000 new jobs

The Australian economy created 39,100 new jobs last month – outstripping expectations of a gain of 15,000 new positions – helping to keep the jobless rate at an unchanged 5 per cent.

The rate, which remains the lowest it has been since 2011, could still weigh on inflation expectations and add further fuel to chances of a rate cut – where the Bloomberg consensus of economists now expects a 52 per cent chance of a 25 basis point rate cut by August this year.

The number of full-time jobs rose by 65,400 to 8.7 million while the number of part-time jobs fell 26,300 to just over 4 million.
The number of unemployed climbed 6600 last month.

Australia’s economy created 39,100 new jobs in January.  Tamara Voninski

ANZ economists expected the 5 per cent figure and said that for the Reserve Bank of Australia to shift its tone from “neutral to negative” would require a more sustained deterioration in labour market indicators.

NAB economists expected slower growth in employment but also an unchanged unemployment rate at 5 per cent.

More to come.

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