The unemployment rate has risen to 7.5 per cent – its highest level in 22 years – as the Australian economy reels from the coronavirus pandemic.

The July result compares with a rate of 7.4 per cent the previous month and 5.1 per cent in February before the pandemic took hold.

The rise in the jobless rate was the result of more people looking for work, even as there was a jump in the number of people employed in the month.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday showed the number of people employed in July increased by a larger-than-expected 114,700 positions.

This comprised a 43,500 rise full-time employment and a 71,200 increase in part-time employees.

The participation rate of those in work or actively seeking employment rose from 64.1 to 64.7 per cent.