Joe Hockey’s first job as Treasurer will be to stem a faltering jobs market after new figures showed a further increase in the nation’s unemployment rate with WA’s outlook weakening.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported today that unemployment lifted by 0.1 percentage points to a four-year high of 5.8 per cent in August.
It was driven by a 10,800 fall in total employment. The country lost 2600 full time jobs and 8200 part time jobs.
The number of people out of work increased by 1.3 per cent to 714,100. A large lift in the number of people looking for part-time work offset a drop in the number looking for a full-time job.
Despite the drop in employment, total monthly hours worked actually lifted by 1.1 million hours in a further sign of improving productivity.
WA was one of the hardest hit parts of the country with unemployment jumping to 5 per cent from 4.6 per cent previously.
Among women the jobless rate in WA is now 5.5 per cent. Last month it was 3.9 per cent.
Total full time employment increased across the State by 6700 but this was offset by a sizable fall in part time jobs.
The total number of people out of work climbed to 70,000.
Elsewhere, unemployment increased in Tasmania (to 8.3 per cent), the Northern Territory (5.5 per cent), Queensland (6 per cent) and NSW (5.9 per cent).It was steady in the ACT (3.7 per cent) and Victoria (5.7 per cent) while it edged down in South Australia to 6.8 per cent.