Oceania

Australia’s unemployment rate declined in January as a second round of central bank stimulus combined with a big-spending government budget accelerated the economy’s recovery and further boosted hiring, Bloomberg News reported. The jobless rate fell to 6.4% from 6.6% in December, versus economists’ estimate of 6.5%, data from the statistics bureau showed Thursday in Sydney. Employment advanced by 29,100 in January, compared with an expected 30,000 gain, driven by the state of Victoria that’s still rebounding from its second lockdown.
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More than 100 million workers across the world’s top eight economies may be forced to change occupations by 2030 due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released by consultant firm McKinsey & Company on Thursday, The Hill reported. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated globally trending changes in the workplace, prompting McKinsey to raise its prediction for how many workers will likely need to switch jobs in the top eight economies by 12 percent.
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The COVID pandemic has added $24 trillion to the global debt mountain over the last year a new study has shown, leaving it at a record $281 trillion and the worldwide debt-to-GDP ratio at over 355%, Reuters reported. The Institute of International Finance’s global debt monitor estimated government support programmes had accounted for half of the rise, while global firms, banks and households added $5.4 trillion, 3.9 trillion and $2.6 trillion respectively.
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A 70-year-old New Zealand planemaker has had its Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certificates suspended after declaring it’s now insolvent, Australian Aviation reported. Pacific Aerospace, which employs 100 people in Hamilton on the North Island, manufactures aircraft popular for skydiving and the aerial application of fertiliser.

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The New South Wales (NSW) state gambling watchdog considers Crown Resorts unfit to hold a gaming license for its flagship Sydney casino, Crown said on Tuesday, a week after an inquiry found widespread money laundering and governance issues, Reuters reported. The casino operator said the state gambling watchdog gave it a notice in a letter after its Sydney casino breached a clause of the VIP Gaming Management Agreement. The watchdog has now begun a consultation process and invited Crown to address the authority, it said.
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Soar Aviation’s directors have denied claims by KPMG that the firm could have been insolvent for up to a year before it entered administration, Australian Aviation can reveal. A new note to creditors authored by the professional services firm also said the flight school’s directors maintained they “sought and obtained funding” required to run the company in January 2020. Australian Aviation reported last week that KPMG believed the firm was insolvent “from as early as” January 2020, despite only entering voluntary administration in December 2020.
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Two Crown Resorts Ltd directors with links to major shareholder James Packer resigned on Wednesday, the first heads to roll after the Australian casino operator was deemed unfit to hold a gambling licence for its new Sydney casino, Reuters reported. The upheaval in the wake of a report commissioned by the state gambling watchdog raised speculation among analysts that the A$6.6 billion ($5.1 billion) company was in play as a takeover target.

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Australia’s central bank will extend its quantitative easing program by a further A$100 billion ($76.2 billion) and doesn’t expect to increase interest rates until 2024, following in the footsteps of global peers in moving to stamp out premature tapering speculation, Bloomberg News reported. Governor Philip Lowe left the key rate and three-year yield target at 0.10%, the Reserve Bank said in a statement Tuesday. In addition to the QE program now extended beyond mid-April, the RBA also operates a bank lending facility.

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