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Australian dollar rises as unemployment ticks down in November


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Australian dollar rises as unemployment ticks down in November

Australia's dollar rose against its U.S. counterpart as the country's unemployment rate ticked down against expectations in November.

The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in November from 5.3% in October, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for the rate to remain unchanged.

The Australian dollar traded 0.25% higher against the U.S. dollar around 8:45 p.m. ET on Dec. 18.

The number of employed persons rose by 39,900 to nearly 13.0 million people in seasonally adjusted terms. The Econoday consensus estimate was for an increase of 18,000 employed persons.

Full-time employed people increased by 4,200 persons, while part-time employment climbed 35,700. The participation rate remained steady at 66.0%.

"The renewed fall in the unemployment rate in November reduces the pressure on the RBA to cut interest rates," said Marcel Thieliant, senior Australia and New Zealand economist at Capital Economics, adding that he expects the labor market to ease in the coming months.

Reserve Bank of Australia policymakers agreed to reassess their economic outlook in February 2020 as they left the cash rate unchanged at 0.75% earlier in December.

Thieliant expects wage growth in Australia to soften further as unemployment increases again, weighing on the RBA's inflation target range of 2% to 3%. "That means that the [RBA] still has more work to do," he added.