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Forecast jobless rate would be 10pc without stimulus - Rudd

11 May 2009 5:12 PM

CANBERRA, May 11 AAP - Australia's forecast jobless rate would be as high as 10 per cent without the stimulus measures the government has put in place according to Treasury advice, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.

The advice, to be published in the budget which will be unveiled on Tuesday night, says the nearly $90 billion in stimulus spending has helped to reduce unemployment queues, Mr Rudd said.

"This Treasury advice finds that if the government had done nothing, national unemployment in Australia would have been forecast to reach 10 per cent," he said while on a visit to Wollongong on Monday.

The jobless rate for April fell unexpectedly to 5.4 per cent last week, a fall of 0.3 per cent, but it is predicted by some forecasters to rise to 8.5 per cent in the coming year.

Mr Rudd told reporters the government action meant a significantly lower unemployment forecast would be in the budget papers.

"This Treasury analysis calculates the stark human cost of doing nothing," Mr Rudd said.

"This advice is the final nail in the coffin for those who argue that government's should do nothing to support jobs during a global recession."