Australia’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 percent in May, easing the Reserve Bank of Australia pressure to cut interest rates further.
Total of 17,900 jobs were created during the month, leaving the unemployment rate at April level of 5.7 percent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.
The number of people either employed or actively looking for work, was steady 64.8 percent.
However, all the newly employed were in part-time with no full time jobs added.
“The latest labour force release shows continued growth in trend part-time employment with decreases in full-time employment,” said general manager of ABS’s macro-economic statistics division Bruce Hockman.
“This is the 11th consecutive month with part-time employment increases of more than 10,000 persons, and fourth consecutive month with full-time employment decreases of more than 5,000 persons,” he said.
Michael Workman, a senior economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said about 225,000 jobs were added to the economy over the year to the end of May but only about 65,000 of those were full time jobs. The other 160,000 were part time jobs.
“Welcome to the new part‑time economy,” Mr Workman added.
According to Workman, this this trend also came through in a drop in the rate of first-quarter wage price growth, from 2.2 per cent year-on-year to 2.1 per cent.
JP Morgan said the recent data pointed to a gradual improvement in the rate at which excess productive capacity in the economy was being filled. However, it agreed this would not be enough to drive up inflation.
“On this trajectory, labour utilisation will gradually rise and the unemployment rate should be biased lower over the medium term,” said senior economist for Australia Ben K. Jarman.
“However, that pace of improvement looks insufficient to overwhelm the broader headwinds to inflation from an overvalued real exchange rate, and oversupply in key non-tradables sectors.”
Especially, the fact that it was part-time jobs that was created, with no full-time. This explains why the Australian dollar plunged 0.24 percent against the US dollar as at 9:30 a.m. Sydney time and even worse against the yen.
Nigeria Receives £4.2 Million Looted By James Ibori
The government of the United Kingdom has repatriated the sum of £4.2million that was looted by associates and family members of the convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Tuesday confirmed the receipt of the looted fund in a statement he made available to newsmen in Abuja.
In the statement signed by Malami Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the Minister of Justice disclosed that the naira equivalent of the amount was credited into the designated Federal Government account on May 10, 2021.
The AGF had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the repatriation of the loot fund on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
According to him, “the development was a demonstration of the recognition of reputation Nigeria earns through records of management of recovered stolen Nigerian stolen in the execution of public oriented projects”.
AfDB, European Bank To Bridge $2.5tn Africa’s Financing Gap
The African Development Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday to promote sustainable private sector development in Africa.
In a statement issued by its Communication and External Relations Department, the AfDB said, “The MoU will help catalyse new sources of financing to help bridge the $2.5tn annual financing gap for development in Africa.
“This gap requires that development finance institutions work in partnership.”
The bank stated that under this partnership, the AfDB and the EBRD would capitalise on their respective
expertise and experience, with a particular focus on climate change, green and resilient infrastructure and capital markets development.
“They will also work on improving business environments, bolstering the real economy and mobilising private sector investment,” the AfDB stated.
It observed that COVID-19 was threatening progress made towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and was exacerbating the debt vulnerability of many African countries.
The bank stated that sustainable private sector development would be key to recovery and prosperity across the continent.
AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, after signing the memorandum with his counterpart, EBRD President,
Odile Renaud-Basso, was quoted as saying, “The new partnership agreement between our two institutions will pave the way for us to do more together, especially in supporting the growth of Africa’s private sector.
“The impact of COVID-19 on government resources is huge and we need to mobilise more private resources to help African countries build back stronger.”
On his part, Renaud-Basso, said, “The COVID-19 crisis has made the need for better and ever closer collective action even more urgent.
“Collaboration between the EBRD and the African Development Bank has grown from strength to strength over the years in the region.”
Despite Rising Debt Profile, President Buhari Seeks New N2.342T External Loan
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, urged the Senate to approve a new external loan of N2,343,387,942,848.00, about $6.183billion, for the Federal Government to finance the 2021 budget deficit.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read Buhari’s letter of request on the floor of the Senate at plenary.
Last Month, Investorsking recalled that there was a controversy when Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki had raised concerns over the financial trouble Nigeria might find herself due to the continuous rising debt profile.
In a recent report carried out by PWC, it was reported that:
“Actual debt servicing cost in 2020 stood at N3.27 trillion and represented about 10 percent over the budgeted amount of N2.95 trillion. This puts the debt-to-revenue ratio at approximately 83 percent, nearly double the 46 percent that was budgeted.
“This implies that about N83 out of every N100 the FG earned was used to settle interest payments for outstanding domestic and foreign debts within the reference period. In 2021, the FG plans to spend N3.32 trillion to service its outstanding debt. This is slightly higher than the N2.95 trillion budgeted in 2020”.
According to DMO Nigeria’s total public debt as at December 31, 2020, was N32.915 Trillion.
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