SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia’s jobless rate hit a 12-year high in November, data showed Thursday, as more people looked for jobs in a softening economy hurt by falling commodity prices and weak Chinese demand.
Unemployment edged up to 6.3 per cent as 42,700 jobs were added to the economy, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said. The figure is up from 5.8 per cent last November.
Full-time positions increased by 1,800 as part-time employment soared 40,800, with the data slightly stronger than economists’ expectations of 15,000 jobs created.
“Despite the unemployment rate printing a touch higher in rounded terms, November’s report was overall slightly better than the market expected, and suggested labour market conditions improved modestly in November,” ANZ economists Savita Singh and Riki Polygenis said.
“From here – and now that the ABS appears more comfortable with the veracity of the survey – we expect the unemployment rate to level out.”
The latest figures came two days after the ABS said it would accept all recommendations from an independent review into how the labour force survey is collated, following questions about its accuracy. The review said the timing of supplementary surveys had contributed to the volatility in the monthly data.