Unemployment falls in November: Midday roundup

The unemployment rate has unexpectedly declined in November, falling to 5.2% from 5.3%, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The fall comes despite economists having expected the rate to rise to 5.5%.

The figures show the total number of jobs rose by a seasonally adjusted 13,900 to 11,546,400, although full-time employment fell by 4,200 to 8,132,200.

The participation rate fell by 0.1% to 65.1%, down from 65.2% in October.

Ten Network confirms capital raising

Ten Network Holdings has confirmed a $230 million capital raising as the television network continues to struggle against a weak advertising market.

In a statement to the ASX, Ten said the raising would go ahead, becoming its second in just six months.

Ten said the advertising market continued to be difficult to anticipate, and said it was unclear how long advertising conditions would remain.

“Ten’s post-Olympic revenue share is at historical lows,” the group said. “However, the new programming schedule and renewed agency agreements are expected to underpin improved revenue share for Ten. Revenue performance remains difficult to predict.”

Shares fall despite offshore rise

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning, on news of weak economic data in the Eurozone, despite a positive lead from the United States.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 12.3 points or 0.3% to 4,508.1 at 12.00 AEST, while in America the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82 points or 0.6% to 13,034.5.

American “fiscal cliff” battle continues

Democrats and Republicans in the United States are continuing to fight over the oncoming “fiscal cliff”, unable to come to an agreement to avoid triggering a series of budget cuts and tax increases.

The New York Times has reported that Republicans may end up agreeing to raise taxes on the rich, but would return in 2013 with even more stringent budget cuts.

“We are not going to play that game next year,” Obama said. “That is a bad strategy for America, it is a bad strategy for your businesses and it is not a game I will play.”

Republicans have agreed to raise the debt ceiling, but only if the budget contains massive cuts to social programs.

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