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Australian leading jobs index rises in October

CANBERRA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The Australian government's leading employment indicator rose for the third month in a row in October, although cyclical employment continued to fall, the employment department said on Wednesday.

The department revised down its long-term trend rate for employment growth to 1.6 percent a year from 1.7 percent.

The department said its leading jobs index rose by 0.095 points to -0.073 in October, although the index was well down on its level of 0.445 in October a year ago.

The measures of cyclical employment fell to -0.466 in October for its 20th consecutive monthly fall.

"It is still too early to confirm that a renewed quickening in the pace of employment growth above its (revised) long-term trend rate of 1.6 percent per annum is in prospect, because the indicator has risen for fewer than six consecutive months," the department said.

Official jobs data for September is due on Thursday and economists expect Australia's unemployment rate to climb to 5.3 percent from 5.1 percent in August, although with an extra 3,750 jobs for the month.

Since the early 1980s, the leading index has consistently anticipated turns in the labour market, beginning to rise and fall before employment does, but with variable time lags.

(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

((James.Grubel@thomsonreuters.com)(+612 6273 2730)(Reuters Messaging: james.grubel.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: AUSTRALIA ECONOMY/JOBS