Unemployment holds steady at 5.4%: Midday roundup

Unemployment rates have held steady at 5.4% in January, defying analysts’ expectations of a slight increase, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released this morning.

The data shows 10,400 jobs were added last month, the majority of which were part-time positions.
While there was a jump in part-time jobs, 9800 full-time positions were lost.

Roy Morgan unemployment data released yesterday afternoon showed unemployment increased by 1.3% for the month.

Australian shares open flat

Australian shares opened flat this morning, despite overnight falls from international markets.

The majority of industries posted minor losses, but the healthcare industry was performing well.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up five points to 4926 at 11.55 AEST.

Better Place backs out of Australia

Electric car concept company Better Place is no longer doing business in Australia after their Israeli parent company withdrew funding for the division last night.

The company provided in-car navigation systems which directed drivers to battery stations to help improve the driving experience of electric cars, but they struggled in the Australian market.

Better Place chief executive Dan Cohen said in a statement an orderly wind-down of the company’s non-core activities in North America would commence shortly and they intended to limit any further investment in Australia beyond current commitments.



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