Unemployment in Australia is expected to have risen slightly in November, ahead of jobless figures set to be released today.
A majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted that unemployment will have increased to 5.5% last month, from October’s figure of 5.4%.
The rise is being attributed to a slowdown in the mining sector and patchy growth in the rest of the economy.
GDP figures put budget surplus in doubt
Labor’s promised budget surplus appears to be under threat following GDP figures unveiled yesterday, showing that Australia’s growth rate is easing off.
The Bureau of Statistics says the economy grew by 0.5% in the September quarter, taking annual growth to 3.1%. The slowdown casts a shadow over the government’s treasured goal of returning Australia to a marginal budget surplus next year.
“None of us believes the government is going to meet this surplus fantasy,” JPMorgan economist Stephen Walters told the Australian Financial Review.
NZ handed one-way airfares to unemployed
The New Zealand government has reportedly been giving its unemployed citizens one-way airfares to Australia in order to find work.
A manual audit of 500,000 files is underway over the scheme, which has seen Kiwis paid $NZ1,200 to move to Australia and avoid receiving dole money in New Zealand. The country’s social development minister has put an immediate end to the handouts during the review.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose by 0.64% to 13,034.49. The Australian dollar fell to 104.66 US cents.