Australian Employers Unexpectedly Add 1,200 Workers

Australian employers unexpectedly added workers in January, a sign the economy may avoid a recession that is gripping the U.S., U.K., Europe and Japan., Bloomberg 2/11/2009 7:32:35 PM

The number of people in employed gained 1,200 from December, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today.

The number of full-time jobs surged 33,700 in January and part-time employment decreased 32,600, today’s report showed. Some 10.7 million people were employed last month, equal to about half the nation’s population.

Unemployment is rising around the world. The U.S. jobless rate soared last month to 7.6 percent, the highest level since 1992, while U.K. unemployment rose to the highest reading in almost a decade. Japan’s rate climbed in December to 4.4 percent from 3.9 percent.

The central bank has reduced borrowing costs five times in the last six months, helping fuel a surge in home-loan approvals which jumped in December by the most in almost nine years, a report showed yesterday.

Recent reports show business confidence tumbled in January to a record low, consumer confidence declined this month and advertisements for job vacancies slumped for a ninth month in January.

The central bank last week said Australia’s jobless rate will increase materially over the year ahead” as falling prices for resources, including coal and iron ore, trigger a 20 percent drop in earnings from exports.

Australian Employers Unexpectedly Add 1,200 Workers