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INSTANT VIEW-Australia employment up more than expected, A$ firms

SYDNEY, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Australian employment rose by more than expected in September, sending the local dollar higher, while the jobless rate also rose to 5.4 percent as more people joined the workforce.

Thursday's data from the government showed jobs rose by a seasonally adjusted 14,500 in September.

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KEY POINTS:

- Sept employment +14,500 mth/mth, seasonally adjusted

(Reuters poll: +3,750)

- Sept full-time employment +32,100, part-time -17,700

- Sept unemployment rate 5.4 percent, s/adj (poll 5.3)

- Sept participation rate 65.2 percent, s/adj (poll 65.0)

- August's unemployment rate unrevised at 5.1 pct

- For a brief data table click on

COMMENTARY

MICHAEL BLYTHE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA

"It doesn't make the story any clearer, with a decent rise in employment, but unemployment up as well. The overall impression when we smooth all these trends out is it's still a pretty soft labour market overall.

It's still a case of easing bias here. The Reserve Bank still expects unemployment to rise. They obviously interpret the labour market now as soft as they've said. Given some of the global concerns that are still playing out the risks still point to lower rates. We think we'll see another move (down) in November."

MARKET REACTION:

The Australian dollar

rose more than a third of a cent to $1.0258 on the data. Interbank futures

still

imply rates at 3 percent by Christmas with a better than evens chance of a cut next month.

LINKS:

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Web site is:

BACKGROUND:

- The median forecast had been for slight a rise of 3,750 in September employment. Estimates for this volatile series ranged from a fall of 8,000 to an increase of 20,000.

- The jobless rate was seen rising to 5.3 percent, following August's surprise dip to 5.1 pct, with a range of 5.2 percent to 5.3 percent.

- The jobless rate has been remarkably steady around 5.2 pct for months now even though employment growth has been subdued. That was partly due to an unusually large fall in the participation rate, which has dropped a full percentage point since late 2010 to stand at a five-year low of 65.0 pct.

- RBA policymakers suspect the fall in participation means the labour market is softer than implied by the jobless rate alone, which is a major reason they chose to cut interest rates this month.

- Most leading indicators of employment point to only modest growth ahead and a likely gradual rise in the jobless rate, which would add to the case for further monetary stimulus.

(Reporting by Wayne Cole)

((Wayne.Cole@thomsonreuters.com)(612 9373 1813)(Reuters Messaging: wayne.cole.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: AUSTRALIA ECONOMY/