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Aust unemployment rate steady in Jan

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February 07 2013, 12:14AM

Macquarie senior economist Brian Redican said the figures showed that employment growth remained sluggish over the past few months.

The central bank kept the cash rate at three per cent at its February board meeting this week, but he said there would be a rate cut soon.

"The general sluggishness of these labour market data are consistent with a rate cut.

"Because unemployment is only rising slowly though, it hasn't given the RBA any urgency to cut the rate, so by itself there won't be the trigger.

"In an environment where the economy is losing a major driver from mining investment and replacement drivers for growth are pretty thin on the ground, these data are consistent with the RBA continuing to trim rates."