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Australia – Unemployment edges up

18 January 2013

Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by +0.1% to 5.4% in December from November as the country shed 5,500 jobs last month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported on Thursday.

The country has been affected by a slowdown in the lucrative mining and manufacturing industries. The construction sector has also been hit by a weakness in the housing market while the healthcare sector is still showing strong performance. Some analysts said the scale of the job losses was worse than expected as the labour market softened further in the month.

The fall in employment was driven by a reduction in full-time employment, which was partially offset by a rise in part-time employment. But the ABS reported that the seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate remained steady at 65.1% in December. 

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