Australian unemployment rate rises to 5.3%

13:03, August 12, 2010      

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Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday showed the jobless rate had surged in July after aggressive interest rate hikes.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.3 percent in July, from 5.1 percent in June, seasonally adjusted.

The number of people out of work increased as the labor market shed 4,200 full time jobs.

CommSec economist Craig James said the figures were not a surprise, particularly after several months of weakness in spending by consumers in the retail sector.

"We have seen indications of a softening economy and this has finally caught up with the jobs market," he said.

However, the figures also implied that interest rates were now likely to remain on hold for the foreseeable future, giving respite to mortgage holders.

"The good news from today's figures, in terms of interest rates, is that interest rates are clearly on hold until at least the end of the year," James added.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has raised rates six times since October 2009, with the last three coming in March, April and May.

While 27,000 part time jobs were created in July, leading to an overall rise in the total number of jobs created in the month, this was more a sign that businesses were being cautious about taking on full time staff.

Some 631,800 people were unemployed in July, up from 607,200 in June.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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