Surprise spike in WA unemployment rate as full time jobs fall

David Washington                          @davidwashingto2

David Washington @davidwashingto2

Australia's unemployment rate has remained unchanged, but official figures show that the economy added far more jobs than expected in August, sending the Australian dollar back above 80 USA cents.

The Australian economy added 54,200 jobs in August, beating forecasts for an addition of 20,000 jobs following the addition of 27,900 jobs in the previous month.

The number of people in full-time work rose 40,100, while those in part-time work rose 14,100, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

The local currency rebounded on the news, climbing to a high of 80.1 USA cents, compared to 79.75 U.S. cents just ahead of the 1130 AEST data release.

The ABS data also showed that the participation rate, which refers to the number of people either employed or actively looking for work, was up 0.2 percentage points to 65.3 per cent.

Still, Australia faces a big problem of underemployment and flat wages growth, which is holding done consumer confidence.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was steady at 5.6 per cent. Underemployment decreased by 0.2 points to 8.6% in August from July.

The WA jobs market is still soft with new figures showing a surprise spike in the State's unemployment rate to its highest level since March.

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