Jobless rate surges in Tassie

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 11 Juli 2013 | 19.55

THE jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to its highest level in nearly four years in June, adding to the case for a further cut in interest rates.

The national unemployment rate rose to 5.7 per cent, from an upwardly revised 5.6 per cent in May, and was last at this level in September 2009 when the impact of global financial crisis was being felt.

The number of people in employment rose by 10,300 in June, when economists had been expecting no change.

The spike was largely due to a 14,400 increase in part-time jobs, offset by a fall in full-time work, the Australian Bureau of Statistics report showed.

The Reserve Bank of Australia earlier this month left the cash rate unchanged at an all-time low of 2.75 per cent, but left the door open for a further reduction.

Recent economic data has added to that case, with business conditions falling to a four-year low and consumer confidence also down, despite the low interest rate environment.

While higher than expected, the June jobless rate is still just below the 5.75 per cent three-month average for the June quarter forecast by the Federal Government in the May Budget.

Among the states, the unemployment rate rose to 5.8 per cent from 5.4 per cent in Victoria and jumped to 6.4 per cent from 5.9 per cent in Queensland.

It also increased in South Australia, to six per cent from 5.9 per cent, and surged to 8.9 per cent from 7.5 per cent in Tasmania.

In the nation's most populous state, NSW, the jobless rate fell to 5.4 per cent from 5.5 per cent, while in Western Australia it declined to 4.6 per cent from 4.9 per cent.

In the territories, the rate fell in the ACT to 3.7 per cent from 3.9 per cent but rose to 5.3 per cent from 5.2 per cent in Northern Territory.

Read more in tomorrow's Mercury...

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