Australia Employers Add 29,800 Jobs

Australian employment rebounded in June from the first jobs decline in 19 months, a sign a mining boom is underpinning economic growth as domestic demand slows.

Companies added 29,800 employees last month following a decline in May that ended a record run of job gains, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today. The median estimate of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 10,000 increase. The jobless rate fell to 4.2 percent from 4.3 percent.

China and India's growing appetite for commodities has prompted miners and energy companies, led by BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group, to expand and hire workers. Exports rose to a record in May, bolstering the $1 trillion economy as slower consumer spending and rising costs prompt manufacturers, airlines and insurers to shed staff.

The Australian dollar rose to 96.03 U.S. cents at 11:35 a.m. in Sydney from 95.55 cents immediately before the report. The yield on the benchmark two-year government bond rose 4 basis points to 6.70 percent. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

The number of full-time positions increased 24,000 in June and part-time jobs rose 5,800. About half of the nation's 21 million people are employed.

Prior to the jobs decline in May, Australian employers had added extra workers every month from October 2006, the longest run of gains since the government began publishing monthly figures in 1978. The unemployment rate fell to 4 percent in February, the lowest in more than three decades.

Australia, the world's largest shipper of coal, iron ore and wool, may earn 12 percent more from commodity exports this financial year than forecast three months earlier because of higher prices, the government said on June 23.

As exports increase, higher interest rates and spiraling fuel prices have increased costs for consumers and businesses, leading to a slowdown in domestic demand.

Consumer confidence slumped in July to the lowest level since 1992 and home-loan approvals fell by the most in eight years, according to reports yesterday.

Australia Employers Add 29,800 Jobs, Bloomberg
7/9/2008 7:36:43 PM