Finance Finance News Unemployment rate expected to ease from 12-year high

Unemployment rate expected to ease from 12-year high

Unemployment hit a 12-year high of 6.4 per cent in the July data.
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Analysts expect the unemployment rate to improve slightly, but still remain worryingly high, when official figures are released today.

Economists were caught by surprise when the official jobless rate jumped from 6 to 6.4 per cent in July, which is Australia’s highest rate in 12 years.

Despite that, 25 of 28 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg believe the unemployment rate will fall when the Bureau of Statistics releases its August figures later this morning.

The most common tip is a slight dip to 6.3 per cent.

St George Bank senior economist Janu Chan says concerns about the veracity of the July figures may also be confirmed, if that reading is revised lower.

“That’s a possibility. There is always the chance of revisions in past months,” she said.

Ms Chan is not expecting a concerted improvement in the jobless rate though for many more months to come, but adds there are also few signs it will get worse.

“We aren’t expecting that scenario because we have seen some of the leading indicators improve,” she said.

“For example job ads, they’ve had a few months of quite good gains and that’s pointing to an improvement in the labour market.”

ABC News Online will have full coverage of the ABS employment figures when they are released at 11:30am (AEST).

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