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Unemployment rate lowest since August 2008 – Euroa Gazette

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Unemployment rate lowest since August 2008


The Australia Day unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 4.2 percent in December, from 4.6 percent the previous month, its lowest level since August 2008.

Another recovery from last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT saw 64,800 people join the workforce in December, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

“The recovery in NSW and Victoria continued to have a major impact on the national figures, with employment in these two states increasing between November and December by between 32,000 and 25,000 people,” said ABS Head of Labor Statistics Bjorn Jarvis.

This takes employment back to where it was in May for these two states.

Mr Jarvis said the latest reports indicate the state of the labor market in the first two weeks of December, before a large spike in virus cases later in the month.

Sarah Hunter, chief economist at BIS Oxford Economics, said experience from overseas shows that the impact of the Omicron version will be significant, but short-lived, and less economically damaging than previous waves.

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“Overall, the unemployment rate this year is set to remain below 4.5 percent, and with businesses still looking to add employees this will exert further upward pressure on wages and household inflationary pressures,” Dr. Hunter said. said.

“Today’s data reinforces our view that the RBA will tighten cash rates much earlier than they are currently indicating.”

At 4.2 per cent it is the lowest since August 2008 and when it was 4.0 per cent just before the start of the global financial crisis.

Economists had predicted the unemployment rate to fall to 4.5 per cent in December.

The decline in the unemployment rate is faster than the Reserve Bank of Australia expected.

In its most recent economic forecasts, released in November, the RBA predicted an unemployment rate of 4.75 percent by the end of 2021 and only 4.5 percent by mid-2022.

Separately, new data showed that while Australians intended to spend bigger in 2022, there are already signs that those expectations will not be met due to the influence of Omicron.

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The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s household spending intent index rose 2.5 percent in December, its highest level since the survey began in July 2017.

The biggest gains were in the travel, transportation and retail sectors.

The index combines analysis of CBA payment data, loan applications and publicly available search activity on Google Trends.

CBA senior economist Belinda Allen said household spending data for December showed continued improvement from the delta lockdown, driven by projected household savings of about $260 billion.

“The growth in the travel and transport sector also reflects increased mobility across the country in December,” she said.

However, Omicron’s cases spiked in late December and January.

“We can see from our high-frequency credit and debit card data that spending declined in January, with spending on services being impacted more than spending on goods,” she said. -You

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