The West

Jobless rate soars to pre-boom levels
Picture: File

The national unemployment rate was steady through February despite a spike of 80,000 new full time jobs.

But the jobless rate has soared in WA to its highest level since before the start of the mining boom.

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Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released today showed the jobless rate was six per cent.

However, the bureau said it measured an 80,500 increase in total full-time employment to more than 8 million through the month.

At the same time the number of people in part-time work fell by 33,300 to fewer than 3.5 million.

While this was taking place, the total number of people unemployed increased by 1.3 per cent to 742,200. This was driven by a 24,100 fall in people looking for full-time work and a 33,900 lift in the number looking for part time work.

Despite the lift in full time work, the bureau found total monthly hours worked fell by 14 million hours or 0.9 per cent.

Analysts had been expecting a lift in job numbers but a steady unemployment rate.

In WA, the bureau found the unemployment rate at 5.9 per cent. It is its highest reading since December 2003.

That was despite a 16,600 lift in the total number of people in full time work. Part time worker numbers, however, fell by 14,000 while there was a 11,200 lift in the total number of people out of work.

The more stable trend measure of unemployment also jumped in WA, hitting 5.3 per cent after being at 5 per cent in January.

Elsewhere, unemployment fell in Tasmania (to 7.3 per cent), in the NT (to 3.7 per cent) and the ACT (to 3.4 per cent).

It rose in South Australia (to 6.7 per cent), Queensland (to 6.2 per cent) while it was steady in Victoria (6.4 per cent) and NSW (to 5.8 per cent).

The West Australian

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