Australian unemployment drops to 5.5%

Australia’s unemployment rate eased to 5.5 per cent in April, data showed Thursday, beating expectations by creating 50,100 jobs despite a slowdown in the mining-driven economy.

SYDNEY: Australia’s unemployment rate eased to 5.5 per cent in April, data showed Thursday, beating expectations by creating 50,100 jobs despite a slowdown in the mining-driven economy.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage points from 5.6 per cent in March, outdoing analyst forecasts that unemployment would hold steady.

The number of jobs created — 50,100 — was well ahead of the 12,000 consensus, and saw the Australian dollar surge to US$1.0248 from US$1.0189, with the market perceiving it as proof of unexpected resilience.

The Reserve Bank of Australia slashed interest rates to 2.75 per cent this week, a record low not seen since the establishment of the bank in 1959, in a bid to stimulate the economy as it transitions away from the mining sector.

See on www.channelnewsasia.com

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