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Westpac has forecast the unemployment rate to edge higher, but to remain below the 6% mark. Last week, ABS figures showed the unemployment rate fell from a revised 5.6% in April to 5.5% in May, which was largely a result of a fall in workforce participation. Despite jobs growing slightly faster than anticipated, the bank expects job growth will weaken to a more modest pace, given persistently subdued conditions and confidence among businesses. As such, a softer pace of job growth would correspond with the current soft pace of domestic demand.


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