An unexpected fall in Australia's unemployment rate will lift confidence in the national economy.
Australia's unemployment rate fell to 5.2 per cent in November, from 5.4 per cent in October, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday show.
St George chief economist Hans Kunnen said most economists had expected the unemployment rate to rise in the month and the ABS figures showed the economy continued to fare better than most of the developed world.
"In terms of how we perceive ourselves the 5.2 per cent unemployment rate will bring home the fact that we're doing better than most other places," he said.
But he said the figures showed the growth in employment in the month had been in part-time work, while full-time employment had fallen.
"The mix of part-time and full-time takes some of the gloss of the figures," he said.
HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham said the fall in unemployment was more positive than the market expected and meant the Reserve Bank of Australia was less likely to cut the cash rate in early 2013.
"The economy looks as though it's still pretty close to full employment," he said.
"We have in mind that this might be the end - that we might not see any further cuts from the RBA."
He said the unemployment rate would remain relatively stable into 2013, staying under 5.5 per cent.
"We expect that growth will start to rebalance a bit over the coming months supported by the fact interest rates have come down," he said.
"That should support the housing and retail sectors in particular."
CommSec chief economist Craig James said the jobs figures show the Australian economy is holding up well despite an uncertain economic environment.
"While there are a number of high profile company failures and job losses, beneath the surface small and medium-sized business are still keen to put on more staff," he said.
"The anecdotal evidence is that it is hard to attract and retain staff and today's jobs figures back up these observations.
"The doomsters have got it wrong - again. More jobs created, more hours worked and fewer people unemployed."
However, Mr James said he doesn't expect big improvement in the unemployment rate in the months to come.
"While it is encouraging that employment grew, more forward looking indicators like job advertisements have suggested that further labour market gains may be more circumspect," he said.