Mon, Mar 14, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Australia jobs data displays economic resilience: Official

FORGING AHEAD:Last month the governor of the central bank said that the recent natural disasters could cut growth by 1 percent this quarter


Employment data for last month demonstrated “remarkable” resilience in the Australian economy in the wake of floods and Cyclone Yasi in Queensland State, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said.

Australia added 47,600 full-time jobs in the month and the unemployment rate held at 5 percent, according to data released on Thursday. Overall employment dropped by 10,100 amid a fall of 57,700 in part-time workers.

The employment data provides “encouraging evidence of how our economy has stood strong in the face of these tragic events, with the unemployment rate remaining steady,” Swan said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

“Even more remarkable was the fact that the economy still managed to create 47,600 full-time jobs in February, a strong and impressive result by any standard,” he added.

Cyclone Yasi, packing winds stronger than Hurricane Katrina that struck New Orleans, hit Queensland last month as the state was recovering from flooding that affected an area as large as France and Germany combined in December and January.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said last month the natural disasters could cut 1 percentage point from growth this quarter.

Swan last week announced a A$10 million (US$10 million) marketing campaign to revive tourism to the state, where 222,000 people rely on the industry for their livelihood.

“With 97 percent of the sector in Queensland small or medium enterprises, it’s vital that we get the message out that most of the state is as ready as ever to show why it’s one of the best places in the world to visit,” Swan said.

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