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Australia’s Unemployment Rate Rises to 5.2% in October

Average number of weekly job ads increased 6.2% month on month, the largest gain since March and the first increase since July


Australia
A position vacant notice is seen on the window of a clothing store in Sydney. Photo: Reuters

 

The number of jobless Australians rose in October as the economy took longer than expected to bounce back from pandemic-related lockdowns.

The unemployment rate increased to 5.2% from 4.6% in September, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed Thursday.

Employment dropped by a net 46,300 jobs, its third straight monthly decline, compared with economists’ estimate for a 50,000 increase.

However, analysts said coronavirus curbs were largely responsible.

“The worsening in a number of indicators – despite the easing of restrictions in October – reflects the fact that the survey reference period ended on October 9,” said Shreya Sodhani, a Barclays analyst in Singapore.

“Although New South Wales started to ease some restrictions in September, a large part of the reopening occurred after October 11 and Victoria’s reopening only began from October 21.”

Employment in New South Wales, the most populous state, rose by 21,700, while Victoria’s jobs fell 49,600.

The average number of weekly job ads increased 6.2% month on month, the largest gain since March and the first increase since July.

“This was likely due to increasing demand for workers in preparation for reopening,” Sodhani said.

 

  • George Russell

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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