Baird talks up economy on NSW jobs data
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SYDNEY, Sept 6 AAP
September 06 2012, 2:25PM
A sharp drop in the NSW jobless rate has been attributed to the state's diversified economy, government payroll tax rebates and infrastructure spending by a surprised NSW Treasurer Mike Baird.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released on Thursday show a national unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent in August, down from 5.2 per cent the previous month.
The unexpected decline in the country's jobless figures was the result of a sharp drop in NSW, where unemployment tumbled to 4.8 per cent from 5.2 per cent.
Mr Baird said he was surprised by the extent of the fall amidst the current global and national economic uncertainty.
The drop in unemployment came a day after strong State Final Demand figures showed the state's economy had grown by a seasonably adjusted 1.5 per cent in the June quarter, bringing the annual growth figure to 3.4 per cent.
"Since the O'Farrell government came to power (in March 2011) there's over 30,000 that have come into this state - that compares very favourably to other states across the country," Mr Baird told AAP.
"We now sit well below the national average, we haven't done that for a considerable period in NSW.
"So there is more jobs, a lower unemployment rate, and we saw yesterday there is greater economic growth.
"I'm buoyed by the resilience that NSW businesses have shown."
Mr Baird said the government's $4,000 payroll tax rebate, aimed at generating 100,000 jobs, and its infrastructure spending has helped reduce unemployment.
He also talked up the state's diversified economy.
"One of the strengths of the NSW economy, which I think is missed, is diversification," Mr Baird said.
"It is a diversified economy versus the mining states which have a much greater reliance on the resources boom."