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Unemployment rate jumps 0.2% to 5.4% on record participation rate: ABS

The Australian unemployment rate has jumped to 5.4 percent in October, up 0.2 percent on the previous month, despite an additional 29,700 jobs being created in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced today.

Pay riseThe Australian economy remains in very robust shape despite the increase in the unemployment rate, with the ABS reporting a record high for the labour force participation in October of 65.9 percent, a rise of 0.3 percentage points from September. The increase in the labour force participation rate is an indication of strength in the Australian economy, with many who had previously not considered working returning to work, or returning to looking for work due to the growing demand for employees and increasing number of job ads, up 36.1 percent on the same time last year.

ANZ Chief Economist Warren Hogan had tipped the unemployment rate to dip below 5 percent by the end of the year, today’s figure may mean sub 5 percent unemployment is a way off yet.

“The pick up in job advertisements in recent months also suggests the unemployment rate is now likely to fall below 5 percent before year-end. This will provide solid support for Australian households. But it also has potential consequences for Australia’s already relatively high rate of inflation.” he said

The ABS reported the number of people employed increased by 29,700 people to 11.356 million, seasonally adjusted, in October. The rise in employment was driven by an increase in part-time employment, up 43,800 people to 3.385 million, that was partially offset by a decrease in full-time employment, down 14,100 people to 7.971 million.

The number of people unemployed increased by 32,100 people, to 646,500 in October, the ABS said, as a result of the increased participation rate compared to September.

The ABS seasonally adjusted monthly aggregate hours worked series showed a rise in October, up 7.9 million hours to 1,602.6 million hours.


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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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