Another jump in full-time employment

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)

The rise in the number of people employed was modest in June, but there has been another jump in full-time employment.

Figures released on Thursday showed 14,000 people joined the workforce in June.

Full-time employment increased by 62,000 but was partly offset by a 48,000 drop in part-time workers.

That left the jobless rate unchanged at 5.6 per cent after the May result was revised up from 5.5 per cent.

These results came at a time of heightened discussions surrounding interest rates.

Minutes of the Reserve Bank’s July board meeting, released this week, included an assessment of what is considered to be a “neutral” cash rate if inflation is stable and the economy is growing at around three per cent.

That rate is now estimated to be 3.5 per cent compared with five per cent prior to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and the record low 1.5 per cent cash rate now.

Malcolm Turnbull believes the central bank is sending a prudent signal about future interest rates.

“They are not saying they are going to do that tomorrow,” the prime minister assured Neil Mitchell on radio 3AW on Thursday.

“But I think they are sending a signal, which is probably prudent, which is to say … rates are more likely to go up than go down.”

Borrowers should be aware of that, Mr Turnbull warned.

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