Employment jumped and the labor force swelled in Australia’s western mining heartland, offsetting job losses in every other state, suggesting forecasts of a resource investment revival might be coming to pass.
In Western Australia, 13,800 jobs were added in June, the participation rose 0.3 percentage point and unemployment fell almost half a percentage point to 5.8%, data from the statistics bureau showed in Sydney Thursday. In contrast, New South Wales, the economy’s growth driver in recent years and Australia’s biggest state, shed 17,400 positions.
“The pickup in full-time hiring in Western Australia may be a sign that the trough in resource investment may soon come to an end,” said Tamara Mast Henderson, an economist at Bloomberg Economics.
“There was less slack in Australia’s labor market in June, as indicated by a drop in underutilization. This adds to reasons the Reserve Bank of Australia is likely to leave its policy rate unchanged in August. We don’t expect any more easing this year.”
The RBA executed its first back-to-back interest-rate cuts in seven years as it redoubled efforts to drive unemployment down to 4.5%, the bank’s new estimate of the rate needed to reignite inflation.
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