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Full-time jobs surge in Australia

Australia’s unemployment rate hit 5.4 percent in April but a strong rise in the number of full-time jobs points to continued strength in the economy.

Employment, a barometer of the economy’s health, held up better than economists predicted during last year’s economic slowdown. A year ago, the Australian federal government was predicting an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent by next month. Instead, the economy has been generating more jobs, particularly better-paying full-time ones, with many of them in the mining states as the commodity boom re-ignites.