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Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Australian jobless rate sees surprise April fall

Australian jobless rate sees surprise April fall

The figures also show that the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits in April fell by 200 in the space of a month.

"The negative outlook on Australia reflects our view that if downside risks to government revenue materialise, then budget deficits could persist for several years, with little improvement, unless the Parliament implements more forceful fiscal policy decisions", the agency said.

The overall increase in employment data was the second best of any state in seasonally adjusted terms.

The news is a small blow to the Reserve Bank's and Treasury's hopes that wages growth will accelerate in 2018 and 2019, economists say.

NSW still has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at 4.7 per cent.

The AMP's chief economist, Dr Shane Oliver said yesterday that "with the cost of living as measured by the CPI now rising faster than wages real wages are falling and this will act as a drag on consumer spending". Wage growth may edge up later this year as the labour market improves a touch, but it probably won't be higher than inflation for another few quarters.

"Workers simply have no bargaining power". The Aussie wage price index held at a record low of 1.9% for three straight quarters.

On Wednesday, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Wage Price Index showed wages growth in Australia came in at a weak 0.5 per cent for the March quarter.

Professional, scientific and technical services recorded the lowest quarterly wages growth of 0.2%.

Economic inactivity rate rose by 1.6 per cent over the quarter to 27.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent over the year, the largest quarterly increase in the Northern Ireland economically inactive rate since the quarterly series began in 1995, while there was a 16 per cent increase in the number of redundancies over the last year.

If you haven't got that pay rise from your boss, you're not alone.

Australian wages growth remained at record low levels in the first quarter of the year, adding to concerns around high levels of underemployment in the economy, and helping to support forecasts that inflation will rise only gradually in coming years. But wage growth in Western Australia fell from 1.4% to 1.2% and in the mining sector it slipped from 1.4% to 0.6%.

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