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Unemployment tipped to hold steady

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Marty Silk

The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 5.6 per cent in October.

The median forecast is for the number of Australians with a job to have risen by about 20,000 in the month, after falling by 9,800 in September, according to an AAP survey of 14 economists.

ANZ head of Australian economics Felicity Emmett said the number of people with jobs was likely to rise even though business surveys suggested reduced momentum in the economy.

She explained that that was because the number of job ads rose solidly in October, suggesting the labour market was in good shape.

"We expect a bounce in employment in October after two straight falls," Ms Emmett said in a note.

TD securities chief Asia-Pacific macro strategist Annette Beacher warned that a lower unemployment rate or stronger growth in jobs wouldn't have much of an impact on the markets or interest rate expectations.

Ms Beacher said jobs figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics had been fairly unreliable in recent times and the Reserve Bank had switched its focus to underemployment, the rate of workers seeking more hours and weak wage growth.

"So I think if we get a strong number tomorrow that won't mean anything for the RBA; that won't change their overall concerns about employment," she told AAP.

The participation rate, which refers to the number of people either employed or actively looking for work, was also expected have ticked up from 64.5 per cent to 64.6 per cent in October.

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