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Jobs figures finally give PM some relief

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February 15, 2018

Economists expect the jobless figures will show some 15,000 jobs were created in January.

The Turnbull government will be hoping the latest jobs figures will re-focus voter attention on the economy rather than the affairs of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

They will have to be pretty good.

The government was beating its chest over the strength of the labour market under its watch when December data were released last month.

They showed a record 403,000 jobs were created over 2017.

January labour force figures are released on Thursday.

Economists are expecting a more modest rise in employment of 15,000 after the upbeat pace last year.

However, they expect this could be enough to see the jobless rate tick back down to 5.4 per cent per cent from 5.5 per cent in December and to a five-year low seen in October and November last year.

In its recent quarterly monetary policy statement, the Reserve Bank said it expects the unemployment rate to have eased to 5.25 per cent by the middle of this year as the economy strengthens.

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