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Unemployment rate tipped to be flat in Aug

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016

The unemployment rate is expected to have remained steady at 5.7 per cent in August, economists say.

The median forecast is for the number of Australians with a job to have risen by about 15,000 in the month, after increasing by 26,200 in July, according to an AAP survey of 14 economists.

JP Morgan senior economist Sally Auld said the flat result would be consistent with the main leading indicators.

"Business surveys and job advertisements are consistent with a rising employment-to-population ratio, and government data have shown a significant fall in new welfare recipients recently," she said in a note.

"From a macro perspective, we regard the strength in real GDP (gross domestic product) growth during the first half of the year as consistent with a gradual move lower in the unemployment rate in coming quarters.

National Australia Bank economists noted that 15,000 was the "breakeven" amount of new jobs needed in a month to keep the unemployment rate flat.

However, they are predicting job creation of 22,000, which is consistent with a slight downward trend in the unemployment rate.

"Though this might not be observable in the published one decimal point rate," the NAB economists said.

The participation rate, which refers to the number of people either employed or actively looking for work, is also expected to be steady, at 64.9 per cent

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