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Positive May employment figures expected

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Economists expect another solid rise in employment to be recorded in May when the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases its labour force report today, which should at least keep the unemployment rate steady at 5.5 per cent.

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The national numbers for April saw the unemployment rate decrease from 5.7 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

Economists’ forecasts for today’s numbers centre on a further 30,000 increase in employment in May, although there is a wide range of expectations, from a 60,000 rise to a 19,000 decline.

The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 5.5 per cent even after six consecutive months of declines, although again forecasts range from 5.3 per cent to 5.7 per cent.

South Australia’s numbers for April showed unemployment higher than the national average at 5.7 per cent.

However, the figures represent a marked improvement from the start of the year when SA had an unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent – the worst in the nation.

South Australia’s underemployment rate also fell in April from 8.6 per cent to 8.3 per cent.

Today’s ABS figures come at a time of strong demand for workers, with job advertising having grown for 12 months in a row to be almost 40 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

-with AAP

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