Unemployment in Australia surprisingly jumped to its highest level in at least a decade in July, signaling the economy remains weak and raising the prospect that the next move in interest rates may be down.
The jobless rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 6.4% in July from 6.0% in June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The last time the unemployment rate hit this level was in August 2002, when the rate was also 6.4%.
Economists had expected an unemployment rate of 6.1% in the month. The number of people employed fell by 300, compared with an expected 12,000 rise, the ABS said. The number of people in full-time work rose 14,500, while those in part-time work fell 14,800.