Australia Employment Rises in November

Australia added more than twice as many jobs in November as economists forecast, deepening a skills shortage that prompted the central bank to raise borrowing costs to an 11-year high.

The number of people employed climbed by 52,600, the 13th consecutive increase, following a revised 5,400 gain in October, the Bureau of Statistics said today in Sydney. The jobless rate rose to 4.5 percent from 4.4 percent as more people looked for work.

Demand for skilled workers at companies including Rio Tinto Group, the world's third-largest miner, threatens to push up wages and stoke inflation, already above the central bank's 3 percent limit. Qantas Airways Ltd. said last week it will hire another 2,000 people, signaling jobs growth will continue after the economy, now in its 16th year of expansion, accelerated in the third quarter.

The economy has added jobs every month since October, 2006, the longest run of gains since 1980. The number of full-time positions climbed 8,200, today's report showed. Part-time employment rose 44,400. About half of Australia's 21 million people are employed.

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.

Australia Employment Rises in November, Bloomberg
12/13/2007 7:15:43 AM