Australian Unemployment Rate Falls in September

By James Glynn Features Dow Jones Newswires

Australia added 19,800 jobs in September, adding to a strong run of job creation since the start of this year that has buoyed confidence about a broadening recovery in the economy.

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The country's unemployment rate was lower at a seasonally adjusted 5.5% in September from 5.6% in August.

Economists surveyed ahead of the release had expected a steady jobless rate, predicting the economy would add 15,000 jobs in the month.

The number of people in full-time work rose 6,100, while those in part-time work rose 13,700, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

The workforce participation rate was unchanged at 65.2%.

Australia's job market has been a bright spot for much of this year, although the economy is still a long way from achieving full employment, estimated by the Reserve Bank of Australia at around 5.0%.

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The RBA has kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 1.5% for over a year, and is not expected to come off the sidelines until 2018 at the earliest.

Still, the RBA has communicated its growing satisfaction with the job market, noting employment growth across the country, even in resource-rich states which have been weighed down by falling mining investment in recent years.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe recently described the job market as "unambiguously good." Still, wages growth is soft and consumers are grappling with record household debts, keeping the central bank cautious about the outlook for inflation and growth.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 20:52 ET (00:52 GMT)