Australia Adds 12,900 Workers in October

Australian employers hired extra workers for a 12th straight month in October, worsening a labor shortage that prompted the central bank to raise interest rates yesterday.

The number of people employed climbed by 12,900 last month after gaining a revised 8,300 in September, the Bureau of Statistics said today in Sydney. The jobless rate rose to 4.3 percent from a 33-year-low 4.2 percent.

The number of full-time positions surged 70,600, today's report showed. About 10.5 million of Australia's 21 million people are employed. Part-time employment fell 57,700 in October. Annual jobs growth last year was the strongest since 1989.

Australian wages growth edged higher in the second quarter as a labor shortage prompted mining companies to pay more to attract skilled workers.

The wage price index climbed 1.1 percent from the previous three months, equaling the strongest increase since the series began in 1997. Third-quarter data will be released on Nov. 14.

Soaring commodity prices, driven by demand from China and India, have boosted profits for exporters, prompting them to expand mines and oil fields and take on extra staff.

Australia Adds 12,900 Workers in October
11/7/2007 5:11:26 PM