abril 4, 2006 a las 8:48 am #259753diablokMiembro
NSW the sick man of the national jobs market
THE loss of 9000 jobs last month pushed the NSW jobless queue to almost 200,000, as experts say the «sick» state economy is unlikely to recover until late next year.
More than 35,000 people have lost their jobs in NSW since July, jolting the unemployment rate up from 4.8 per cent to 5.7 per cent.
Some economists blame the resources boom, which has pushed the dollar up and hurt NSW’s international competitiveness, while others blame the former premier, Bob Carr.
One business leader said everyone in NSW should be worried about the «R word». «Australia’s largest economy cannot afford to be in recession,» said Mark Bethwaite, the chief executive of Australian Business Limited.
But no one the Herald contacted yesterday believed the state’s ill-health will mend soon. In contrast, unemployment in resources-fuelled Western Australia steadied last month at 4 per cent.
«The NSW economy is travelling like the sick economies of Western Europe, while Western Australia is like a raging East Asian economy,» said Brian Redican, an economist with Macquarie Bank.
NSW’s poor performance pushed the national unemployment rate up to 5.3 per cent. But bad news for job seekers could be good news for home owners, as the Reserve Bank is now unlikely to follow through with threats to raise interest rates.
The bank’s quarterly statement on Monday will reveal a more moderate inflation forecast and softer warnings about rising rates, analysts expect.
Kieran Davies, the chief economist at ABN Amro, said NSW’s «deadweight» economy may even force the bank to consider dropping interest rates later this year.
«If that trend continues, the RBA has to reconsider what it’s doing with policy,» he said.
The national economy added just 2000 jobs last month, as 31,000 new full-time positions were offset by 29,000 fewer part-time jobs.
The country has added 5000 jobs in the six months since July, compared with 145,000 jobs in the six months before that.
In Parliament yesterday, the Treasurer, Peter Costello, said that unless there were far-reaching reforms, unemployment was unlikely to resume falling.
«We are probably at a cyclical low in relation to unemployment after the strong growth that we have had through man years,» Mr Costello said.
ANZ’s chief economist, Saul Eslake, said the Premier, Morris Iemma, had a huge job ahead of him to clean up after Mr Carr, whose lack of interest in economic policy was «rather redolent of Whitlam».
Mr Eslake said the state economy would take five years to recover from Mr Carr’s legacy, which included the ill-timed vendor tax, a misconceived desalination plant, infrastructure neglect and discouragement of population and economic growth.
John Freebairn, who heads the Melbourne Institute, said the resources boom was placing «enormous pressure» on the southern states by raising the exchange rate and making locally produced goods less competitive.
Mining accounts for 21 per cent of the West Australian economy, 8 per cent for Queensland, 2 per cent for NSW and just 1 per cent for Victoria.
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