Employment kicked up by an unexpectedly high rate in June, surprising markets and economists.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that an extra 29,800 jobs were created last month, compared to the market forecast of just 10,000 and the near 20,000 drop in May (which now looks like 25,000 after revisions).

The ABS said full-time employment increased by 24,000 to 7,664,600 and part-time employment increased by 5,800 to 3,051,100 while unemployment fell 2,800 to 473,800 people. That saw the unemployment ate eased to 4.2% from, 4.3% in May. 

The news won’t change the Reserve Bank’s current stance of not doing anything with interest rates, but it’s another oddity to go with the sharper than expected 0.7% rise in retail sales in May.

Both sets of figures contradict other surveys like the consumer and business confidence surveys out this week which showed multi-year lows, and three performance surveys for services, manufacturing and construction, which showed a contraction last month.

The news came as the stockmarket seemed to steady after a sharp opening loss after Wall’s Street’s nasty 2% fall across the board, with the key Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropping into bear territory, joining the Dow, Nasdaq, our market and others.

The major indices were down by around 1.3% just before midday.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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