Australian Unemployment Rate Falls in July

By James Glynn Features Dow Jones Newswires

Australia's economy continued to create jobs at a fast pace in July, lowering unemployment and signalling rising momentum in the economy.

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The number of people employed rose 27,900, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. That compared with an increase of 20,000 forecast by economists ahead of the release.

Unemployment fell, as-expected, to 5.6% in July from an upwardly revised 5.7% in June.

The number of people in full-time work fell 20,300 in July, while those in part-time work rose 48,200.

The bureau said its seasonally adjusted workforce participation rate rose to 65.1% in July from 65.0% in June.

The economy has churned out 240,000 new jobs in the last year, of which 200,000 have been full-time positions.

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The Reserve Bank of Australia is hopeful the improving job market will add momentum to the economy, supporting its optimistic growth forecasts.

Still, the rise in jobs is yet to generate wages growth--currently mired at record lows--while underemployment remains elevated, particularly for younger workers.

Consumer sentiment has also been declining over recent months as the low wages growth and rising utility costs put a brake on spending.

-Write to James Glynn at james.glynn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 16, 2017 21:59 ET (01:59 GMT)