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AUSTRALIA is still doing better than other major economies despite a jump in jobless figures, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.  kevin-rudd

The unemployment rate has risen to 5.7 per cent, after the total number of people in work fell by 1700, official May jobs data showed today.

 “Today we have seen an increase in unemployment to 5.7 per cent, returning to where it was in March this year, although employment remained fairly steady falling by 1700,” he told delegates at an Australian Industry Group lunch in Sydney.

He said the unemployment figures were indicative of how the financial crisis was affecting Australia.

“The global recession is continuing to have a direct impact on the Australian economy and Australian jobs,” Mr Rudd said.

“No one likes to see unemployment rise because of the global recession … (but) Australia’s unemployment rate remains lower than all other major advanced economies except Japan.”

He said the figures would have been far worse had it not been for the government’s stimulus packages.

“`Without our nation building plans, over 200,000 more Australians would be out of work,” he said.

Source www.news.com.au

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western_Australia_hotel_MapWESTERN Australia has the fastest growing population in Australia, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

WA’s population growth rate has hit 3.1 per cent for the year ending December 2008 – well ahead of every other state or territory.   

Next was Queensland, growing at 2.5 per cent, Northern Territory, 2.0 per cent, Victoria, 1.9 per cent, ACT, 1.7 per cent, New South Wales, 1.4 per cent, South Australia, 1.2 , and Tasmania, 1.0 per cent.

WA, along with Queensland, had the highest rate of intra-state migration, with WA attracting 6300 people from other states and territories and Queensland luring 21,200 interstaters.

At December 31, 2008, WA’s population was 2,204,000 — the fourth largest in Australia, with NSW the most populous state (7.04 million), followed by Victoria (5.36 million) and Queensland (4.35 million).

Nationally the population increased by 1.9 percent  from 2007 — the highest growth rate recorded since the 1950s and 1960s, which was boosted by post war migration and high birth rates. 

These rates compare with a 1.2 per cent growth rate recorded five years ago.

At the end of 2008 Australia’s population had swelled by 406,100 people to 21,644,000.

Of the 406,100 new Australians,  62 per cent, or  253,400, were overseas immigrants. The excess of births over deaths contributed 152,700. 

The states losing the most people to interstate migration were New South Wales (down 22,700), South Australia (down 5200) and Victoria (down 1000).

Source www.news.com.au

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WESTERN Areas NL has successfully raised $35.35 million through it’s institutional share placement.

Seven million shares were issued at a discount of 3.6 per cent at $5.05 each.

The placement was significantly oversubscribed, with strong demand from both domestic and international institutions, most of which were existing shareholders.

Western Areas’ managing director Julian Hanna said: “The success of this placement will support Western Areas’ rapidly expanding nickel production and help underpin the Company’s growth strategy to achieve its goal to become Australia’s second largest and lowest cost nickel miner.”

Western Areas shares last traded down 44 cents, or 8.4 per cent, at $4.80.

www.news.com.au

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