Australia’s unemployment rate jumped last month to the highest rate since January, rising faster than economists had expected after an increase in the participation rate during the month. The unemployment figure rose to 6.3 per cent in July, according to official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, up from an upwardly revised rate of 6.1 per cent in June. The result was worse than economists had expected.
The Australian dollar jumped to US73.88c at 11:30am (AEST), from US73.54c just before the jobs numbers were released, before falling back to US73.40c at 11:40am. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast the unemployment rate to lift to 6.1 per cent in June, predicting around 10,000 jobs to have been added to the economy over the month.
The unemployment rate has been trending lower in recent months, despite largely unimpressive jobs figures, as Australia’s slowing population growth sees the number of people competing for jobs decline. Meanwhile, Australia’s booming construction sector is helping to keep employment more or less steady, offsetting the decline caused by the struggling resources industries.