Unemployment steady at 5.2% in March: Midday Roundup

The unemployment rate has remained steady at 5.2% in March, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in a result that was better than expected.

 

The figures show the total number of jobs in Australia rose by 44,000 or 0.4% to 11,491,200.

Economists had largely expected the figures show the addition of 5,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate expected to grow to 5.3%.

The result was largely due to the increase in part-time employment, which was up 28,200 to 3,410,900. Full-time employment rose 15,800 to 8,080,400 people.

Ten Network profit down 70% in first half

Ten Network Holdings said its profit plunged by 70% in the first half of the financial year to $14.81 million.

The result was well below the expectations of analysts, who had suggested a profit of $22.6 million. Revenue rose 10.9% to $432.65 million.

“While visibility remains limited, we expect to see less volatility in advertising markets over the next few months and the emergence of a more consistent trend, ” Ten chief executive officer James Warburton said in a statement.

Warburton said the difficult advertising market had affected the company’s results.

“Advertising markets were soft, particularly in late 2011 and early 2012.”

“Our focus is on the broadcasting fundamentals of ratings and revenue,” he said. “We are making good progress on both fronts, but the full benefits of the turnaround will take some time to filter through to results.”

Shares open higher on solid offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning after strong offshore leads and positive results from this morning’s unemployment data.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 17.2 points or 0.4% to 4263.3 at 11.45 AEST, while the Australian dollar also rose to $US1.03 after unemployment data was announced.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 89 points or 0.7% to 12,805.4.

Europe insists policy can’t fix debt crisis

The European Central Bank has insisted that countries cannot solve the Eurozone debt crisis solely with monetary policy.

“The ECB has addressed the immediate symptoms, but monetary policy cannot cure the underlying causes,” ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said, according to AAP.

Despite the crisis having calmed in the past few months, stock markets fell this week due to concerns over borrowing costs for Spain and Italy.

Coeure said as part of a conference in Paris that fears about Spain’s finances was “excessive”.

“The situation in the financial markets has reached a turning point but recent market developments have highlighted that it remains fragile.”

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