Asia Economy

Australia adds 60,900 jobs in March, beats Reuters forecast of 20,000

Australia jobs data surprises to upside

The Australian jobs market employed 60,900 more people in March, reversing the previous month's fall of 6,400 and beating Reuters forecast of 20,000 new workers, official data showed Thursday.

The unemployment rate for March was 5.9 percent, unchanged from February.

The Australian dollar strengthened close to 0.7 percent against the U.S. dollar following the release of the data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Despite the better employment numbers, Nicki Hutley, director and chief economist at Urbis, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that the latest data may not help the Australian economy.

"It's still soft. We've heard that the unemployment rate is stuck at 5.9 percent. We've seen jobs growth of just over 1 percent per annum so that's not enough to make inroads into the unemployment rate nor is it enough to put pressure on wages for that to tick up a bit to help the economy and to help inflation back up," she said.

"So it's still moderate but what this numbers overwhelmingly tells us is that things aren't quite as bad as we thought they were given the last couple of months' data," she added.

Meanwhile, Australia's central bank, in its half-yearly Financial Stability Review, highlighted vulnerabilities in the country's property market on Thursday. The Reserve Bank of Australia warned that regulators would consider tightening lending rules further to prevent a bubble in the housing market.

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