Jobless rate steady but fewer in work

The jobs market fell back in May with the number of people in work falling, in a sign the employment market remains soggy.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported this morning that the unemployment rate held steady last month at 5.8 per cent.

But the total number of people in work fell by 4800.

Full time employment jumped by 22,200 but part time employment fell by 27,000.

The bureau also reported that total hours worked lifted by 1.7 per cent.

While total employment fell there was a lift in the number of unemployment people.

Total unemployment grew by 3200 people. Nine thousand people started looking for full time work while there was a 5900 drop in the number looking for part time work.

At the State level, WA's unemployment rate lifted slightly to 5 per cent. It is back to its highest level since February.

Total full time employment in WA lifted by 11,200 but there was a 4400 drop in the number of people in part time work.

There was also a 2100 increase in the number of people unemployed across the State.

On the more stable trend measure, unemployment was steady at 5.1 per cent with full time employment actually down by 400.

Elsewhere, unemployment was down in Tasmania (to 6.6 per cent), the Northern Territory (3.3 per cent), Queensland (6.2 per cent), Victoria (6.2 per cent) while it was steady in the ACT at 3.7 per cent.

Unemployment increased in South Australia (to 6.8 per cent) and NSW to 5.7 per cent.

The West Australian

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