Unemployment rates rises high in Australia

March 12th, 2009 - 3:39 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

In the last four years, Australia’s unemployment rate rose up to 5.2 per cent in February as the number of full-time jobs slumped, according to official data released on Thursday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the figures showed the government was right to press ahead with a A$42 billion economic stimulus package.

‘Had we waited and done nothing, instead of acting decisively, these unemployment figures would be much worse,’ he said.

The jobless rate was up 0.4 points from the previous month, the statistics bureau said. Full-time employment fell by 53,800, while the number of part-time jobs rose 55,600.

Economists had expected total employment to decline by 20,000 and a jobless rate of 5.0 per cent.

Unemployment was higher despite the net 1,800 increase in jobs because of a rise in the number of people actively looking for work. According to the officials prediction the unemployment rate will hit up to 7.0 per cent by mid 2010. The government had not expected the jobless rate to reach 5.0 percent until June.

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