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Jobs, jobs and less jobs


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Australia’s jobless rate is expected to edge higher as weaker sectors of the economy remain under pressure.

The unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 5.8 per cent, from 5.7 per cent, when official labour force figures for November are released on Thursday, according to an AAP survey of 13 economists.

The number of people with jobs is forecast to have increased by 10,000 in November, compared to a rise of 1,100 the month before.

But with an expected increase in the number of people looking for work, that will result in a higher unemployment rate.

JP Morgan Australia chief economist Stephen Walters said recent economic indicators do not point to a turn around in the weaker parts of the economy.

“Employment growth has been dismal in the second half of 2013, with the economy shedding a net 16,000 jobs over the past six months,” he said.

“Weak employment growth has not had the expected impact on the jobless rate, however, largely due to the continued decline in labour force participation, which is tracking at multi-year lows.”

ANZ head of Australian economics Justin Fabo said the labour market will remain weak as the economy moves away from being driven by mining investment.

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