Friday, February 19, 2016
Australia's unemployment rate has jumped to 6 per cent, surprisingly tracking against the momentum of previous months and lifting to its worst level since August.

The Australian Bureau of Statistic said today that 7,900 jobs were lost over January, while the number of unemployed people ballooned by 30,200, leading to a higher seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 6 per cent.

The unexpected lift in the jobless rate went against the forecasts of economists. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast unemployment would hold steady at 5.8 per cent, and that the economy would add around 13,000 jobs.

The Australian dollar slumped on the news, dropping from US71.8c to US70.4c as the data was released.

January's employment figures came alongside a steady 65.2 per cent participation rate, which shows the proportion of the population that have a job, are looking for work or are ready to start working.

However, the trend rate for unemployment, which strips out month-to-month volatility, inched lower to 5.8 per cent in January from an upwardly revised 5.9 per cent a month prior.

It's a continuation of the positive trend basis from last year, where the unemployment rate decreased over the 2015 calendar year from 6.2 per cent to 5.8 per cent.

"The trend shows that around 302,000 more people were employed in January 2016 than in January 2015 and full-time employment growth was a bit stronger than part-time growth over the year, increasing by 169,800 people," general manager of the ABS macroeconomic statistics division Bruce Hockman said.

Local tourism, hospitality, consumer, business and financial services are benefiting from the lower Australian dollar, which has fallen around US10c since the beginning of 2015.

The jobless rate increased in January after holding steady in the previous month.

Source: ABC.net.au
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