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Australian PM: Jobless rate through the roof without stimulus
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14:43, September 07, 2009

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Australian unemployment would be "going through the roof" if not for the Federal Government's stimulus policies, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Monday.

The ANZ job advertisement series -- a key indicator for future employment growth -- rose 4.1 percent in August data released on Monday, the first monthly increase since April 2008, and the strongest monthly growth since December 2007.

Quoting the acting chief economist at Westpac, Rudd said that Australian economic activity has been "remarkably resilient" in recent months, particularly in some of the country's largest employing industries such as retail trade, health services, government and construction.

"These are the industry areas where so much of the government's stimulus strategy has been focused, and that's why it is important to see that these measures are having an affect," Rudd told parliament.

"Had the strategy advocated by those opposite been adopted, Australia right now would be in the depths of recession and with unemployment going through the roof."

However, he said there were both domestic and international economic figures that underscore the absolute importance of insuring that the government stays on course with this strategy.

Job advertisements are still down sharply over the year, while last week's national accounts showed a drop in export earnings and company profits declining by their biggest margin since 1961.

"There are strengths largely, but not exclusively in response to what the Government has been doing by way of stimulus, but also weaknesses that are reflecting the downturn in global economic activity that has been underway for sometime,'' Rudd noted.


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