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Australia jobless rate jumps to 6% in June

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New figures show that Australia’s unemployment rate relapsed to a decade-high of six percent in June.

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday showed a 0.1-percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate in June, matching the highest since July 2003.

This is while economists had expected the jobless rate to stay at the revised rate of 5.9 percent in May, up from 5.8 percent where it had been for several months.

The newly-released figures also showed that Australian employers were shedding full-time jobs over the past month as more people looked for work. According to the figures, the number of full-time jobs fell by 3,800 in June while part-time employment rose by 19,700.

Meanwhile, the ABS indicated that the total number of the people employed in June rose by 15,900 compared with an expected 12,000 rise.

Economists, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Treasury had warned that the unemployment rate would rise in 2014 as Australia exits an unprecedented boom in the country’s huge mining sector.

To encourage growth in other economic sectors across the country, the RBA has kept interest rates on hold at a record low of 2.5 percent since August last year.

“There is a bit of pessimism around the Aussie story in part because growth has slowed down a bit,” said former RBA economist Paul Bloxham. He added that the rebalancing from mining growth to growth in the non-mining sectors “has not been a perfectly smooth transition.”


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