The jobless rate rose 0.1 percent last month to take unemployment to 5.3 percent, a 10-month high, despite widely held expectations the rate would remain steady.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of people employed fell by 9,700 in August to 11,432,600. This follows on from a rise in July, when unemployment jumped from 4.9 percent, to 5.1 percent.
The fall was driven by a decrease in full-time employment, which fell 12,600 people to 8,034,900, but was offset by a rise in part-time employment, up 2,900 people to 3,397,600.
The number of people unemployed increased by 18,400 people to 636,800 in August.
“The disappointing jobs report adds to the sense that the Australia economy is slowing,” Westpac Senior Currency Strategist Rob Rennie said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The ABS monthly aggregate hours worked series increased in August, up 4.6 million hours to 1,626.8 million hours.
The ABS also reported the labour force underutilisation rate was sitting at 12.3 percent in August, up 0.1 percentage points from May.