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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Despite economy is growing, more signs of slowing jobs growth

Despite some data showing the Australian economy is growing strongly, it may not be growing strongly enough to match the growth in the number of people wanting jobs.

New official figures show the number of job vacancies has dropped to a two-year low.

This won’t be news to the Reserve Bank, which convenes its monthly monetary policy next week. In the minutes of its June 5 board meeting, released last week, the RBA said ‘‘the unemployment rate was still expected to move somewhat higher over the coming quarters’’.

The day after the meeting, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the March quarter national accounts.The figures showed unexpectedly strong growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in real terms, 1.3 per cent from the quarter before and 4.3 per cent from a year before. In both cases they were well above long-term averages of around 0.8 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively.

There are signs that the pickup in growth has spilled over into job-creation. The trend in employment growth at last measure in May was 16,000 per month, compared with the 12,000 or so needed to offset population growth and stop the unemployment rate from rising.

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