Bullish on jobs

The outlook for the office sector is weaker but better times are predicted for employment, despite the figures for August being down on the previous month.

The outlook for the office sector is weaker but better times are predicted for employment, despite the figures for August being down on the previous month.

Better job prospects should help offset the downbeat office vacancy forecasts made by landlords in the 2013 profit results last month.

CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian said the unemployment rate rose to 5.8 per cent in August, a four-year high. The participation rate fell from 65.1 per cent to 65 per cent, and full-time jobs fell by 2600 in August after falling by 7300 in July.

"It should be said that the unemployment figures are largely backward-looking, highlighting the sluggishness in the broader economy in the lead-up to the election," he said.

"More timely figures on consumer and business confidence have been more upbeat, suggesting activity levels over the next few months should be firmer."

Paul Bloxham, the chief economist (Australia and New Zealand) at HSBC, said now the election was over, consumer sentiment should start to improve as the uncertainty disappeared and lower interest rates started to have a bigger impact on spending, which should help boost jobs in some sectors.

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