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.”
NNPC to Focus on Domestic Gas Growth, Says Kyari
FG, NNPC to Focus on Growing Domestic Gas Utilisation
Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has said the corporation is presenting focusing on growing domestic gas utilisation.
The Managing Director disclosed this on Tuesday during a virtual BusinessDay Energy Series Summit with the theme, “Nigeria at 60: Harnessing Nigeria’s Energy for the Future.”
The NNPC boss also said the corporation is committed to delivering key gas infrastructures such as Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System II, Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben Gas Pipeline, Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline, and Central Gas Processing Facilities.
He stated that NNPC was working on developing five gigawatts of power generation by 2022.
He said, “At the NNPC we are aggressively pursuing other gas development initiatives with the aim of improving Nigeria’s economy using the appropriate fuels.
“In terms of gas and power, we are developing and integrating gas and power infrastructure networks (increase interconnectivity) as well as stimulating gas demand (power generation, feedstock and transport, etc).”
Kennie Obateru, the NNPC spokesperson, quoted the NNPC boss in a statement issued in Abuja. He said the corporation was working on domestic gas utilisation to five billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.
He added that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Train 7 would be completed and delivered by 2024.
Senator Rejects Aisha Umar From North-East as PenCom DG Replacement for South-East
Law Markers Rejects President Buhari’s PenCOM Director-General Nominee
The Senate has rejected President Buhari nominated Director-General of the National Pension Commission, Aisha Umar.
Some of the Senators, who vehemently protested the nomination immediately the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, read Buhari’s letter said Aisha Umar from the North-East should not be replacing the former DG, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who is from the South-East.
The aggrieved senators said the action of the president is flagrant breach of the Act that established the PenCom.
According to Section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, states, “In the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint replacement from the geopolitical zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.”
Meaning President Buhari had acted against the Act establishing the PenCom.
Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved Senators, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate Minority Leader, said “I recall that the tenure of the incumbent was truncated. Therefore, the new letter from the president that has now moved the chairman of the commission to another zone may not be correct.
“It is against the law setting up the National Pension Commission and the Federal Character Commission.
“Before you (Lawan) send it to the appropriate committee tomorrow, (Wednesday), I wish to draw the attention of the committee to it.”
The Senate President, however, rejected the minority leader’s point of order and observation, saying “That is for me to interpret because I interpret the laws here. If there is any petition to that effect it should be sent to the committee.”
Electricity Regulatory Commission Suspends Tariff Increase for 14 Days
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Suspends Tariff Increase for 14 Days
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has suspended the increase in electricity tariff in accordance with the resolution reached between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Congress and Civil Rights groups.
The commission suspended the new tariff implemented on September 1, 2020 for 14 days.
The NERC, in its Order No. NERC/209/2020 issued around 10.30 pm on Tuesday, describing the regulatory instrument as “NERC Order on suspension of the Multi Year Tariff Order 2020 for the electricity distribution licensees.”
The commission said, “This order shall take effect from 28th September 2020 and shall cease to have effect on the 11th October 2020.”
This is coming a day after the labour union agreed to halt a nationwide industrial action to allow the government fashioned out a way to address the recent increase in prices from pump price to electricity bill.
Labour had described Federal Government action as anti-people policy, especially given current economic realities.
The government on the other hand had said the hikes were touch necessary decision to advance the nation’s economy and further improve power supply and revenue generation necessary to deepen economic growth.
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