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Australia Unemployment Rate Eases To 5.1%

Australia Unemployment Rate Eases To 5.1%

The unemployment rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 5.1 percent in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday - topping forecasts for 5.3 percent and down from December's reading of 5.2 percent.

Australia added 46,300 jobs in January, the data showed - blowing past expectations for an addition of 10,000 following the surprising loss of a downwardly revised 35,600 jobs in December.

Full-time employment was up 12,300, beating forecasts for a flat reading following the downwardly revised addition of 24,000 in the previous month. Part-time employment jumped 34,000 versus expectations for a gain of 7,500 following the downwardly revised loss of 59,600 jobs a month earlier.

The participation rate was 65.3 percent, matching forecasts and up marginally from 65.2 percent in December.

The male unemployment rate eased 0.1 percentage points to 4.9 percent, while the female unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points to 5.3 percent.

Aggregate monthly hours worked decreased 23.1 million hours to 1.593 billion hours.

Upon the release of the data, the Australian dollar edged up sharply against major rivals, trading near 1.2917 against the NZ dollar, 84.22 versus the yen, 1.2160 against the euro and 1.0741 versus the U.S. dollar.

by RTT Staff Writer

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