Australia’s jobless rate increased from a six-year low to a seasonally adjusted 5.1 per cent in November, despite market expectations the figure would remain unchanged.
Part-time employment drove a 37,000 increase in the number of people with jobs during the month, better than a consensus expectation of 20,000 extra jobs, but Thursday’s data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also showed overall unemployment increased by 12,500 people to 683,100.
This included a 6,400 drop in the number of people in full-time employment.
Chief Australia Economist for BIS Oxford Economics, Sarah Hunter, said the data confirmed her view that, while the labour market is steadily moving towards full employment, there is still spare capacity to absorb.
“This will keep pressure on wages low, and while some sectors are now showing signs of labour shortages, it will be some time yet before we see a broad-based acceleration in wages growth,” Ms Hunter said.
The largest increase in employment was in Victoria, up 30,900 persons, followed by Queensland, up 21,800 persons.
The largest decrease was in New South Wales, down 12,600 persons after leaping 20,200 in October.
Australia’s overall male unemployment increased by 11,500 persons in November, while female unemployment increased 1,000 persons.
Youth unemployment increased from 11.3 per cent to 11.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, the monthly seasonally adjusted underemployment rate increased to 8.5 per cent, while the monthly underutilisation rate increased to 13.6 per cent.
The November participation rate increased slightly to 65.7 per cent.
The Australian dollar was largely unchanged on the release of the data, buying 71.03 US cents at 1208 AEDT.