The jobless rate edged higher to a seasonally adjusted 5.3 per cent in August, bolstering the case for another Reserve Bank rate cut as soon as October.
A surge in people with part time work boosted net employment by 34,700 to 12.93 million during the month, but underemployment ticked higher on a 15,500 decrease in people with full-time work.
The Australian dollar dropped from 68.10 US cents in the wake of Thursday’s data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and at 1135 AEST was worth 67.97 US cents.
Most economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 5.2 per cent for a fifth consecutive month, despite dual rate cuts by the Reserve Bank and federal government tax stimulus supposedly initiated to counter jobs market slack, low wages growth and low household consumption levels.
Unemployment was the key metric cited by the RBA in its decision to cut rates in both June and July to a record low 1.0 per cent, with a third cut to 0.75 per cent already completely priced in for November.