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Aust unemployment rate steady in Jan

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AAP

2013-02-07

A steady unemployment rate is a sign conditions in the Australian economy may be starting to improve.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the unemployment rate remained steady 5.4 per cent in January, with total employment up 10,400.

The market forecast was for the unemployment rate to rise to 5.5 per cent in the month.

HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham said figures showed the labour market was more resilient than many believed.

"This certainly suggests that the labour market might be a bit tighter than many commentators have been touting and have been concerned about," he said.

"We remain of the view that policy setting and global conditions are conducive for a pick up in local growth, so the steady jobs market is consistent with that view."