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Shock job surge keeps unemployment flat



An unexpected surge of around 65,000 jobs has smashed market expectations and kept the nation's unemployment rate flat as the cost of living crisis continues.

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that in August 2023, the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 per cent despite the job boom.

Financial markets had largely expected a modest increase of jobs by around 25,000.

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Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said the number of Aussies participating in the workforce had hit a record high.

"The large increase in employment in August came after a small drop in July, around the school holiday period," he said.

"Looking over the past two months, the average employment growth was around 32,000 people per month, which is similar to the average growth over the past year.

"The employment-to-population ratio rose 0.1 percentage point to 64.5 per cent, around the record high in June.

"The participation rate also increased, up to a record high of 67.0 per cent in August, which, together with the high employment-to-population ratio, continues to reflect a tight labour market."

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On Tuesday, millionaire property developer Tim Gurner attracted heavy criticism after suggesting that the unemployment rate should increase by "40 to 50 per cent" in order to restore productivity in the nation's economy.

"Unemployment has to jump 40 to 50 per cent in my view. We need to see pain in the economy," he told the Australian Financial Review Property Summit.

"We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around."Tradies have definitely pulled back on productivity.

"They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years, and we need to see that change."

More to come.

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