Small Rise In Unemployment In Line With Expectations - Mccardle

  • Peter McCardle
Associate Minister of Social Services, Work and Income (Work and Income)

Associate Minister of Social Services, Work and Income Peter McCardle said today the 0.2 per cent increase in unemployment in the December quarter was in line with expectations and shows the effects of last year's Asian crisis, and the rural drought.

Mr McCardle was commenting on the release of the Household Labour Force Survey today, which showed the official rate of unemployment for the December quarter was 7.7 per cent.

This is a 0. 2 rise of over the previous quarter, when the rate was 7.5 per cent. "The rise was expected, but the economy is picking up now. There is always a delay between economic growth and new jobs, and the employment results are consistent with the early stages of economic recovery.

"Once businesses can see they're doing better, they start to take on new staff, and we're seeing that now," Mr McCardle said.

"The economy is clearly picking up and, in contrast to 1998, there is every reason to look forward to improving employment statistics as we go through 1999," he concluded.