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16 Feb, 2024 05:18

Australia’s unemployment rate hits two-year high – data

Joblessness accelerated in January, jumping above 4%, official statistics show
Australia’s unemployment rate hits two-year high – data

Australia’s unemployment rate has risen to its highest level since early 2022, hitting 4.1% in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported on Thursday.

The figure is slightly above the consensus expectation of 4%, an uptick from December’s reported 3.9%. The economy added 11,100 full-time jobs and shed 10,600 part-time jobs last month, according to the data.

The report added to concerns of slack in the country’s labor market in the face of a slowing economy and subdued consumer demand. Economists warn that unemployment could further deteriorate later in the year.

Commenting on the report, ABS head Bjorn Jarvis noted a changing seasonal dynamic in the labor market around when people start working after the summer holiday period in January. “While there were more unemployed people in January, there were also more unemployed people who were expecting to start a job in the next four weeks,” Jarvis said.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said during a press conference on Thursday that the latest figures indicate that the labor market continues to soften in expected ways. “This is also the inevitable consequence of higher interest rates and persistent inflation and global economic uncertainty, because of the pressures that people are under, the pressures our economy is under, and indeed the global economy as well – those are largely the reasons for the tick up in the unemployment rate that we are seeing today,” concluded Chalmers.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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