WA’s unemployment rate jumped sharply in October, new figures reveal, as the rest of the nation put on workers.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported this morning the State jobless rate increased by 0.6 percentage points to 4.6 per cent.
It is the highest WA jobless rate in more than two years (August 2010).
It was due to a sharp increase in the number of people described as unemployed which grew by 8300 to 63,100.
The total number of people in work in WA actually improved through October with the State putting on an extra 1800 full time workers.
The number of West Australians in full time work stands at an all-time high of more than 1.3 million.
Nationally, the jobless rate was steady at 5.4 per cent after 10,000 jobs were added across the country.
Overall full time employment lifted by 18,700 last month while part time employment fell by 8000.
The total number of unemployed fell slightly, by 8800, with a 10,900 drop in the number of people looking for full time work.
The total number of worked hours fell last month by 4.2 million to 1.622 billion hours.
The figures follow the decision this week by the Reserve Bank to keep official interest rates on hold at 3.25 per cent.
The bank will tomorrow release its quarterly statement on monetary policy which should provide some guidance as to how it expects the economy, the jobs market and interest rates will perform over coming months.
In other parts of the country, the jobless rate fell in Tasmania (to 7.1 per cent), in Queensland (6.2 per cent) and Victoria (to 5.4 per cent).
It lifted in the Northern Territory (to 4.5 per cent) and the ACT (to 4.1 per cent) while it was steady in South Australia at 5.6 per cent and NSW at 5.2 percent.
The steady unemployment rate was in stark in contrast to figures across the Tasman.
The jobless rate in New Zealand has lifted to a 13-year high of 7.3 per cent on the back of a large increase in the number of people out of work.
Economists there had been expecting the headline rate to ease to 6.7 per cent from 6.8 per cent.