Australian Jobless Rate Jumps to 12-Year High

Australia’s unemployment rate unexpectedly climbed in July to the highest since August 2002 as joblessness increased along the nation’s eastern seaboard, increasing the likelihood interest rates will remain at a record low for an extended period. The Australian dollar fell.

The jobless rate rose to 6.4 percent from 6 percent, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today, versus the median estimate for unemployment to hold steady in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. The number of people employed fell by 300.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has flagged a period of rates stability after reducing the benchmark to a record-low 2.5 percent last year as it seeks to avoid a growth gap emerging as mining investment wanes. Government plans to cut spending and increase charges have weighed on consumer sentiment and the currency’s strength has weighed on the economy’s transition.

Bloomberg

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