Australian Employment Rises 20,100

Australian employment rose for a 14th month in December, worsening a labor shortage that has fanned inflation and may force the central bank to raise borrowing costs next month., Bloomberg 1/16/2008 5:49:47 PM

The number of people employed climbed by 20,100 following a revised 47,600 gain in November, the Bureau of Statistics said today in Sydney.

The longest run of monthly job gains since 1980, driven by demand for skilled labor at companies including miner Rio Tinto Group, threatens to drive a pickup in wages and force the central bank to raise interest rates to cool inflation, already above its 3 percent limit. Employment growth will probably continue after job- vacancy advertisements surged to a record in December.

The number of full-time positions climbed 6,300 in December, today's report showed. Part-time employment rose 13,800. About half of Australia's 21 million people are employed.

The hiring boom is buttressing economic growth as households spend more on electronics, cars and houses. The A$1 trillion ($880 billion) economy expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in the third quarter.

The wage price index, which measures hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses, rose 1 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months, when it gained 1.1 percent and equaled the strongest increase since the series began in 1997.

Australian Employment Rises 20,100