13 Jan '11, 5am

Australia unemployment hits two-year low

SYDNEY: Australian unemployment dropped to 5.0 per cent in December, its lowest level in two years, data showed Thursday, posing labour shortage risks to the country's flood recovery. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said the jobless rate fell 0.2 percentage points from 5.2 per cent in November, beating expectations, with 11.417 million people in work. The rate was at its lowest since January 2009, and at a level widely considered to represent full employment. But the number of jobs created was about one-tenth of forecasts, pointing to labour market tightness and a slowing in economic growth, analysts said. "On the one hand, the jobs and income growth momentum has eased a bit into end-2010, but on the other, the labour market has tightened," said UBS analyst Scott Haslem. Labour shortages could hamper the country's efforts to recover from devastating flooding in t...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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