The Australian unemployment rate remains at a 2 1/2 year low in April, boosted by an increase in the number of part-time jobs.
- Unemployment was unchanged at 5.7%; economists predicted 5.8%
- Employment rose 10,800 from March; economists forecast 12,000 gain
- Full-time jobs fell by 9,300; part-time employment rose by 20,200
- Participation rate, a measure of labor force as a share of the population, dropped to 64.8%; economists predicted 64.9%.
The report signals that record-low interest rates are aiding a revival in industries like construction, tourism and education that’s helping soak up unemployed workers as a resource boom winds down. The second straight month of jobs growth also provides a boon for a government seeking to push its economic credentials ahead of a July 2 election. Still, wage growth is stagnant and the investment outlook remains weak.
Thursday’s data “are unlikely to prompt the Reserve Bank of Australia to follow May’s rate cut with another reduction at the next meeting in June,” said Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics in Sydney.
The Australian dollar fell slightly after the report, buying 72.19 U.S. cents at 12.04 p.m. in Sydney compared with 72.30 cents before the data.
Full-time positions fell for the second consecutive month, while part-time roles have increased over the same period. While job creation is steady, the year has started slowly compared to the last quarter of 2015, when the nation added the most jobs on record.
The RBA this week said that data suggested employment would continue to grow, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than over the previous year, in minutes of its May board meeting. For now, stubbornly low inflation is the central bank’s bigger concern.
“The RBA’s near-term outlook for rates is now tied to the inflation outlook which has been lowered based on the weak first-quarter CPI read and subdued inflationary pressures,” Tapas Strickland, economist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney, said before Thursday’s report. “This will likely lower the emphasis the RBA places on near- term activity indicators, unless such indicators were to print markedly weaker than expected.”
Prepaid Meter is Free, Buhari Warns DisCos, Agents
President Muhammadu Buhari once again warned Power Distributing Companies (DisCos) and their agents selling prepaid meters to electricity customers against the Federal Government directive that meter is free.
Ahmed Rufai Zakar, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, who represented Buhari at the FGN/NLC-TUC ad-hoc committee on electricity tariff stakeholders held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday, said President Buhari understood people’s concerns on issues surrounding electricity and was determined to curb and deal with unscrupulous individuals in the power sector.
He said, “We have made it very clear through the regulators direct order as well as intervention from the Ministry of Power that the meters are to be provided to Nigerians at no cost.
“Even for meters that were paid for, there is the directive from the regulator to the discos that they would need to find a way to reimburse those citizens over time.
“In cases where we find any disco or disco representative selling the meters or exploiting Nigerians to be able to get meters by paying, we would take the full measures of the law.
“The President has mandated that these meters must be free. We have also said that they must come from local manufacturers.
“This would create jobs and revive our industry.”
Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS
Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.
“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.
“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”
Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.
Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.
The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.
He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”
Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.
“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.
“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”
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