Money Daily Brief: Australia sees employment surge

Australia's employment surged by 41,000 jobs in August.

Tim Wimborne/Reuters
A delivery driver made his rounds in Sydney Oct. 8 as Australia announced an unexpected rise in jobs.

•Rebound Down Under: Contrary to expectations, Australia gained 41,000  jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent, boosting its currency to a 14-month high. Asian markets jumped on the news and the MSCI emerging-market index rose to its highest level of the year. Investors were also encouraged by Alcoa's third-quarter profits when most analysts had expected a loss.

•European interest rates: The Bank of England kept interest rates at its record low 0.5 percent and said it would continue buying assets to keep rates low. The European Central Bank was also expected to hold rates steady in its announcement later Thursday, as central bankers worry about the sustainability of the economic recovery.

•Bottlenecked skies: One-tenth of  US flights now arrive two hours late or more, and the logjam will only worsen as economy recovers, said a new report. America’s most congested choke points: New York and other key business centers, raising economic concerns.

•In my backyard: The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta promised renewed attacks on oil pipelines when the government-led ceasefire expires Oct. 15. Nigeria's government said the ceasefire has helped boost the country's oil production and close in on its OPEC quota.

Drew Hinshaw is a Monitor contributor in Accra, Ghana. For a look at ways to cut the US jobless rate, click on How to cut unemployment: tax credit for employers who hire?

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