July jobs figures good but set to weaken
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There was a small improvement in the unemployment rate in July, but it is set to weaken slightly as the high Australian dollar impacts on the economy.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 14,000 more people found jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell 0.1 per cent to 5.2 per cent in the month.
The median forecast from 17 economists surveyed by AAP expected unemployment to be 5.3 per cent in July, and for an increase of 10,000 in total employment.
JP Morgan Australia chief economist Stephen Walters said jobs numbers were reasonably good, but he doesn't see an improvement in the latter half of 2012.
"You'll get some softer employment gains in the next six months or so as you see industries affected by the Aussie dollar going up and global (economic) weakness," he said.
"That affects the investment pipeline and also those tourism and retail jobs."
Mr Walters said he would expect the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut the cash rate from its current level of 3.5 per cent by December.
"It's going to be very gradual on the jobless front. We don't expect any spikes in the unemployment rate, it'll be running at that 5.2 per cent, 5.3 per cent level."