Australia’s unemployment rate rose to the highest level in more than a decade, raising fresh doubts about the strength of the economy and underscoring the dilemma for the central bank over whether to cut interest rates further.
The unemployment rate in January rose to 6% from 5.8% in December. Economists had expected an unemployment rate of 5.9%.
Australia’s jobless rate has been creeping up as thousands of workers in the once-booming resources sector have lost jobs over the past year as companies adjusted to lower commodity prices. More recently, the losses have spread to sectors such as auto manufacturing and the airline industry, hurt by fierce competition and a strong Australian dollar exchange rate.