Unemployment rate rose to 7.4% in June

Australia’s unemployment rate rose to a seasonally-adjusted 7.4 per cent in June as more people looked for work following the gradual easing in coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Another 69,300 jobs were lost during June, although overall jobs increased by 210,800 for the month.

This was on account of part-time employment rising by 249,000, while there was a decrease of 38,100 in people with full-time work, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.

The rise in the unemployment rate – from 6.4 per cent in April and 7.1 per cent in May – reflects the ongoing impact of social distancing measures imposed from late-March that led to widespread business closures.

Economists had, on average, expected the unemployment rate to jump to 7.3 per cent with about 100,000 jobs added in the month.

The Australian dollar slipped on the news, from 70.03 US cents just ahead of the release of data. By 1200 AEST, it was trading at 69.92 US cents.

ABS data showed the participation rate – or the percentage of people looking for work, rose by 1.3 percentage points to 64 per cent, reflecting the gradual recovery in job market conditions.

The underemployment rate slipped 1.4 percentage points to 11.7 per cent and the under-utilisation rate – or the rate of people looking for more working hours – decreased 1.0 percentage points to 19.1 per cent.

All states and territories, except the Northern Territory recorded an increase in employment during the month.

South Australia had an unemployment rate of 8.8 per cent, followed by Western Australia at 8.7 per cent, while Queensland recorded 7.7 per cent.

Victoria’s jobless rate eased to 7.5 per cent, while New South Wales fell to 6.9 per cent.

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