Australia's unemployment rate forecast to rise in 2012

January 16, 2012 11:41 pm 

SYDNEY, Jan. 16 — Australia is expected to have a higher jobless rate in 2012, the nation's major bank ANZ Bank said on Monday.

The total number of job advertisements in Australia on the Internet and in newspapers dropped 0.9 percent in December compared with the previous month, contributing to a 2.6 percent annual fall, ANZ said.

ANZ head of Australian economics Katie Dean said the figures point to modest employment gains for the Australian economy over the coming months.

"Indeed, the current trend rate of employment growth is unlikely to be fast enough to absorb the forecast growth in the labor force in the short term," Dean said.

"As a result, ANZ forecasts the unemployment rate to rise to 5. 5 percent by mid-2012."

Dean predicted that the unemployment rate would remain at this elevated level in 2012, before declining modestly in 2013 as economic activity started to rise, in response to strong mining and infrastructure investment and a possible prolonged period of low interest rates.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release official employment figures for the month of December on Thursday. (PNA/Xinhua)

DCT/mec

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