Finance Work Jobless rate edges to 5.8 per cent

Jobless rate edges to 5.8 per cent

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Unemployment has edged up to 5.8 per cent, despite the estimated creation of 7,900 jobs.

It is the first time in five months that unemployment has gone up in Australia.

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The result was broadly in line with market expectations, with the typical analyst expecting a 10,000-strong jobs gain and a 5.8 per cent unemployment rate.

However, the figures were stronger than they looked, with the modest jobs gain driven entirely by full-time positions, which rose by 38,400, while the number of part-time jobs fell 30,600.

The participation rate – which measures the proportion of the working-age population in work or looking for it – edged higher to 64.9 per cent.

On the downside, hours worked fell slightly last month according to the Bureau of Statistics, despite the apparent increase in full-time work.

Overall, Commonwealth Bank economist Gareth Aird said it will be seen as a fairly steady jobs update by financial markets and the Reserve Bank.

“It’s not a game changer one way or the other.

“The focus of the Reserve Bank I would say is inflation, but if you’re just looking at the labour market then today’s figures don’t argue for a rate cut.

“But we know that inflation is so low and wage growth is so weak … if we get another quite weak CPI [consumer price index] in another couple of weeks, then that would be the trigger for another rate cut.”

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