The latest ABS Labour Force Data figures have indicated the pressure currently being felt in the Australian jobs market, with the unemployment rate soaring to 4.8 percent.
The unemployment rate increased from 4.5 percent to 4.8 percent in the month of January, with the number of people looking for full-time work increasing by 29,900.
However, despite this rise, full-time employment increased over the month by 33,700, the most in six months, with employers taking on more jobs in an effort to stimulate job growth. With the looming threat of a recession, these mixed results paint a somewhat grim picture for the Australian economy.
According to the Westpac-Melbourne Institute, consumer unemployment expectations index rose to 1.3 percent to a 26-year high in February, despite the slashing of interest rates and the Federal Government’s $42 billion stimulus package designed to boost the Australian job market.
“While consumers recognise the improvements in current conditions resulting directly from the aggressive policy stimuluses, they are unusually fearful of the future,” said Westpac chief economist, Bill Evans.
According to the Federal Government, these results indicate just how important it is to boost spending and put money back into the economy.
“The Rudd Government is taking swift and decisive action to strengthen economic growth and support Australian jobs in the face of the global recession,” Julia Gilliard said in a statement. “The $42 billion National Building and Jobs Plan will provide a boost to the economy… and will support up to 90,000 jobs over the next two years.”
Economists are now predicting that the jobless rate will continue to climb over the next two years.
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