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Australia on course to extend jobs run

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent
Australia's jobless rate has eased to 5.5 per cent after an extra 20,000 people found work in March

If economists are right, Australia has clocked up 18 consecutive months of employment growth for the first time since records began.

They expect Thursday's official labour force figures will show a further 20,000 people secured work in March.

The jobless rate is expected to return to 5.5 per cent after unexpectedly ticking up to 5.6 per cent in February as more people sought work.

Figures on Wednesday showed demand for workers continues unabated with jobs advertised on the internet rising by a further 0.9 per cent in March to be 12.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund predicted Australian unemployment falling to 5.3 per cent this year and to 5.2 per cent in 2019.

This is close to what the Reserve Bank believes is 'full employment' at five per cent and a level usually associated with strong wages growth.

The IMF in its report released this week also raised its growth forecast for Australia to three per cent, which Treasurer Scott Morrison said shows the Turnbull government's economic plan is working.