The West

The mining sector slowdown has finally hit WA and the State's working men, pushing the jobless rate to a two-year high.

Despite an increase in total employment, a sharp jump in the number of people looking for work lifted WA's unemployment rate to 4.6 per cent in October.

It was last at 4.6 per cent in August of 2010.

The 0.6 percentage point lift in WA unemployment was the biggest single one-month increase since the height of the global financial crisis.

The sharp rise in the ranks of WA's unemployed is being borne by men.

The male unemployment rate has more than doubled since June, rising to 4.3 per cent from 2.6 per cent, while the total number of men out of work has climbed by two-thirds.

More women have gained full-time work since June than men, while the female unemployment rate has climbed just 0.4 percentage points.

It is the second time since the advent of the GFC that men, and the State's mining sector, have faced a sharp lift in the jobless rate.

Between August 2008 and July 2009, the State unemployment rate jumped more than three points, the biggest increase in the country, as the mining sector laid off staff.

Nationally, unemployment was steady at 5.4 per cent.

The West Australian

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