Australian payrolls began to gradually pick up in May after record falls seen the previous month, though jobs were still down sharply compared to before coronavirus lockdowns shut much of the economy.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported payroll jobs rose 0.4 per cent in the final week of May, compared to the previous week, and were up 1 per cent for the whole month.
Jobs were still 7.5 per cent lower than in mid-March, but that compared to a drop of 8.9 per cent in mid-April which was the peak of the decline.
Total wages paid increased by 0.7 per cent in the final week of May, compared to the previous week, but were still down 8.3 per cent from mid-March.
There had been just over 13 million people counted as employed in early March before the lockdowns, while the jobless rate had been steady at 5.2 per cent.
That rose to 6.2 per cent in April and figures for May due later this week are forecast to show a further increase to 7 per cent.