Australia's unemployment rate rose in August reflecting a slowdown in the economy, and adding to a fast-growing case for interest rates to be cut further in coming months.
Unemployment rose to a seasonally adjusted 5.3% in August from 5.2% in July, as employment growth of 34,700 over the month was outpaced by a jump in the number of people seeking work. Economists had expected an unemployment rate of 5.2% in August, with 20,000 jobs added to the economy.
Rising unemployment will alarm the RBA which cut interest rates in June and July saying it needed to see faster GDP growth and a fall in the jobless rate to 4.5% to spark wages growth and nudge inflation higher.
Full-time job creation fell 15,500 in August, while part-time increased by 50,200, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.
Australia's economy grew at its slowest annual pace since 2009 in the second quarter, with a big contribution from export growth keeping the result respectable.
The economy has been sluggish since mid-2018 as consumer spending has slowed due to years of weak wages growth and a big jump in household debt.
RBA Governor Philip Lowe said recently that he sees signs of a "gentle turning point" for the economy. The RBA cut interest rates for the first time since 2016 this year, and the government rolled out income tax cuts, amid hopes the tonic would help to spur more confidence and spending.
Source : Bloomberg