Australia: Unemployment Rate Up by 6% in January

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Thursday that the employment figures for January has an unexpected increase in the jobless rate to six percent.

The number of jobs available fell to 7,900 in the first month of year 2016, though it was expected to rise to 13,000. According to the ABS report, the full-time employment declined to 40,600, while the number of part-time jobs increased by 32,700. The decrease in the availability of full-time employment is the most since 2013, which is an alarming threat of record-low interest rates as well as a weaker currency value. The value of the local dollar has spiked to one-third the value of the US 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,” ABS’ Macroeconomic Statistics Division’s General Manager Bruce Hockman said in a statement.

The unemployment rate figures were the highest since September 2015. However, January was the first month to see a hike in unemployment rate since July 2015. According to Business Insider, the employment rate in males increased by 9,100, while in the case of female employees, a partial decline of 17,000 was observed. Although the number of jobs for males increased, there was still a hike in labour market participation of 0.2 percent. The participation rate seemed steady at 65.2 percent on the whole.

Considering unemployment figures on state and territory aspects show that the rate of the jobless increased in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. However, there was a decline in case of Western Australia and South Australia.

The figures can be taken as “probably just a continuation of the data moving back to reality after the unbelievable strength late last year rather than a sign that the concerns over the global economy are giving Australian employers the jitters,” Chief Economist Paul Dales at Capital Economics was quoted by the Bloomberg as saying. “A renewed and sustained deterioration in labour market conditions would bring rate cuts back onto the table.”

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