Australian Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Drops as Hiring Surges

Australian Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Drops as Hiring Surges

Bloomberg  | Sep 17, 2020 11:54

Australian Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Drops as Hiring Surges

(Bloomberg) -- Australian unemployment unexpectedly fell in August as the economy’s gradual recovery withstood Victoria’s renewed lockdown.

The jobless rate dropped to 6.8% from 7.5% in July vs economists median estimate of an increase to 7.7%, data from the statistics bureau showed Thursday in Sydney. Employment surged by 111,000 in August vs an expected 35,000 drop. The participation rate gained to 64.8%, compared with an estimated fall to 64.6%.

The Australian dollar edged up on the data and was trading at 73.10 U.S. cents at 11:35 a.m. in Sydney.

The data span Melbourne’s shift to Stage 4 restrictions and nighttime curfew to try to contain a rapidly spreading outbreak, as well as renewed uncertainty in New South Wales that it would closely follow its neighbor. The Reserve Bank of Australia predicts Victoria’s intensified lockdown would cut economic growth this quarter by at least 2 percentage points and the jobless rate would climb to around 10% later this year.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

© Bloomberg. A commuter walks through the central business district of Sydney, Australia, on Monday, May 20, 2019. Prime Minister Scott Morrison's center-right government will command a parliamentary majority, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. projected Monday, fueling a stock market rally as investors welcomed his surprise victory in the weekend election. Prime Minister Scott Morrison's center-right government will command a parliamentary majority, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. projected Monday, fueling a stock market rally as investors welcomed his surprise victory in the weekend election. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

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