Finance Work Unemployment rate climbs to 5.2 per cent as wages stagnate

Unemployment rate climbs to 5.2 per cent as wages stagnate

Jobless figures
The latest relief package aims to help employers keep their workers on the payroll. Photo: Getty Images
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Australia’s jobless queues are getting longer, with more people looking for work, according to the latest unemployment figures.

The unemployment rate went up for the second consecutive month, rising 0.2 percentage points in April to a seasonally adjusted 5.2 per cent, slightly worse than analysts had been expecting.

Thursday’s seasonally adjusted data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed an increase of 21,200 in the number of people without work, to 703,900.

The monthly seasonally adjusted underemployment rate increased 0.3 points to 8.5 per cent.

Analysts had expected the jobless rate to remain in a range of 5.0 and 5.1 per cent.

The number of employed persons rose by 28,400 to a total 12.8 million during the month.

Australian dollar fell after the data’s release, from 69.25 US cents to 69.08 US cents by 1136 AEDT.

It comes as wages growth has also stagnated.

Wage growth data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday showed wages grew by 0.5 per cent in the March quarter, and an unspectacular 2.3 per cent in the year to March.

The 0.5 per cent figure was identical to that from December, was the third consecutive quarter of stagnant growth, and was below the widely expected figure of 0.6 per cent.