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Employment figures another sign of strong economy: PM
08/06/2012 - Prime Minister Julia Gillard is pleased more people are in full-time jobs, saying the latest employment figures reflect the strength of the economy.
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While the jobless rate ticked up to 5.1 per cent in May, from a revised five per cent in the previous month, the number of people in employment jumped by a seasonally adjusted 38,900, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
Full-time employment surged by 46,100, but was partly offset by a 7,200 decline in part-time work.
"I am particularly pleased to see the number of full-time jobs being created," Gillard told reporters in Sydney.
"It's a reflection of the strength of the economy generally."
The jobs figures come just 24 hours after the release of the March quarter national accounts which showed the economy grew at a much stronger than expected 1.3 per cent in the first three months of the year.
"There's a lot for Australians to be proud of, about how we have worked together and pulled together and come through the global financial crisis, and to see our national economy so strong compared with so many nations around the world," Gillard said.
Employment Minister Bill Shorten said Australia's strong economic fundamentals stand in stark contrast to many advanced economies which are struggling to grow at all and face crippling unemployment levels.
"While Australia has one of the strongest economies in the developed world, the government is acutely aware that there are job losses in some sectors of our patchwork economy and that some Australian businesses and families are under significant pressure," Shorten said in a statement.
"This government will continue with the critical reforms and hard policy choices that have made our economy and labour market the envy of the industrialised world, and will continue to get on with the job of building a stronger, sustainable and more secure domestic economy."
Speaking later to reporters, Shorten said the rise in the jobless rate shows that some people are still doing it tough in parts of Australia.
However, the participation rate of those in work or seeking employment rose to 65.5 per cent in May from 65.2 per cent previously.
"In other words, more Australians are encouraged and feel encouraged to look for work," Shorten said.
"There are a lot of difficult circumstances all around the world, but Australians are sending a message to the rest of the world that they are willing to work hard and they are looking for work, and finding work in record numbers."
Treasurer Wayne Swan said the figures again confirm Australia had the strongest set of economic fundamentals in the developed world.
The jobs figures came in the same week as the Reserve Bank cut the official cash rate and the national accounts delivered "stunning" growth figures.
"At 5.1 per cent, Australia's unemployment rate remains one of the lowest in the developed world, well below the United States and less than half that in Europe," Swan said in a statement.
"While it's clear there are challenges in parts of our economy, we have the best combination of strong growth, low unemployment, record pipeline of investment, contained inflation and falling interest rates."
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Richard Tapps | 8/06/2012 16:29 1
Julia Gillard is an Idiot! Strength of the economy! please. Only in WA.
dave d | 8/06/2012 17:24 2
Why oh why does this woman keep burying her head in the sand - when oh when will she face up to the fact that all is not well - when will she face up to the fact that the economy in most countries are going down the drain due to them spending money they don't have - kinda sounds familiar with our Ju-liar handing out money to everyone -deserving or not - but stating how great our economy is without telling how much she is actually borrowing to support her reckless spending sprees.
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