The strong rebound in the Australian labor market indicates that the economy is recovering rapidly as the country lifts restrictions on coronaviruses, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday.
The country created a record 366,100 jobs in November, eclipsing the market forecast for a rebound of 200,000, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday.
“Yesterday’s employment numbers are better than the Treasury expected, what the Reserve Bank expected,” Frydenberg told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia”, adding that the job market had been ” very strong in his return “.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, from 5.2% in October, well below expectations of 5.0%.
Frydenberg stressed that the recovery was widespread with jobs created in various sectors.
“You see a million jobs in manufacturing. We have seen hospitals reopen and residential services reopen. We have seen a strong demand for health and other professional services. as well as agriculture, ”said Frydenberg.
“This is a large-scale recovery. It is something that we will continue to work hard to maintain,” he added.
Thusday, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said the labor market is expected to tighten further over the next two years. He also said that the RBA’s “central scenario” predicted the unemployment rate to reach 4.25% by the end of 2022 and 4% by the end of 2023.
“If we could do this it would be good results – Australia has not experienced a prolonged spell of unemployment at such low levels since the early 1970s,” he said.
However, Lowe said the omicron outbreak represents a “downside risk and it’s unclear how things will go from there.”
“But we expect the positive dynamics of the economy to continue throughout the summer, supported by the opening up of the economy,” he added.
The delta variant outbreak in late June forced some of Australia’s largest cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, to spend months shutdown. But restrictions have since been lifted following an increase in vaccinations.
Frydenberg also told CNBC that keeping borders open to international travelers was essential to supporting economic recovery.
“We took a two-week break from returning skilled migrants and international students because of the omicron variant,” he noted. “But the first signs are the omicron variant while the highly transmissible is less severe than the previous variants.”
“So we took that break away and we are now welcoming these international students and skilled migrants to our country and that is a good thing,” Frydenberg said.