Australia Adds 21,800 Jobs in July

Australian employers hired extra workers for a ninth consecutive month in July, worsening a labor shortage that is driving up wages and inflation.

Employment rose 21,800 from June, the Bureau of Statistics said on August 8 in Sydney. The jobless rate was unchanged at 4.3 percent, close to a 33-year low. The median estimate of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for 25,000 extra jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

Accelerating jobs growth supports economists' expectations Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens may increase interest rates again after raising the benchmark to an 11-year high of 6.5 percent yesterday. Miners including Rio Tinto Group are hiring workers as they expand to meet surging demand for commodities, and retailers are opening new stores as consumer spending soars, extending the nation's 16 year economic expansion.

``It supports the Reserve Bank's decision yesterday,'' said Stephen Halmarick, co-head of economic and market analysis at Citigroup Global Markets in Sydney. ``The economy remains very strong and that's creating very good employment growth. We are expecting another rate hike in early 2008.''

Australia Adds 21,800 Jobs in July

8/9/2007 5:35:54 AM