CANBERRA, AAP – The federal government has indicated there are still positive signs for the Australian economy, despite an unexpected surge in unemployment.

Australia’s jobless rate rose from 4.6 per cent to 5.2 per cent during October.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed 46,300 jobs were lost last month, and more than 330,000 in the past three months.

The period takes in widespread COVID-19 lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

Despite the unexpected result, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said he remained confident of an economic surge.

“It demonstrates there is a pain that comes with lockdown, but a power that comes with reopening, in the sense that now we have opening across all states of Australia,” Senator Birmingham told ABC News on Friday.

“We should see that rebound and that is evident in the consumer confidence data, in the business confidence data, that is out at present.”

As more states and territories ease virus restrictions and reopen, the government is expecting a recovery across the economy.

“We saw the participation rate went up, more people wanted to come back into the workforce, which is a sign of confidence,” Senator Birmingham said.

“The effective unemployment rate came down yesterday, there are good positive signs out there.”

Despite the jump in unemployment, many industries have reported a labour shortage following the end of lockdowns, driven by a lack of international skilled workers.

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the shortage combined with the unemployment rate was a “double-whammy”.

“This is not a recovery for everyone,” Mr Chalmers told Sky News.

“We all want to see the job market get better, but for a couple of hundred of thousands in Australia in the last few months alone, the reality is very different.”

Labor deputy leader Richard Marles said the government was not taking the increase in unemployment seriously.

“When you think about the fact that yesterday we learned 46,000 Australians lost their job in the last month alone, the only job Scott Morrison is concerned about is his own,” he told the Nine Network on Friday.

“He is going around trying to distract from the real issues, the problems in the economy, the problems with people losing their job.”