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Australia unemployment returns to 11-year high

SYDNEY – Australia’s jobless rate returned to match the highest in a decade as employers cut full-time payrolls and more people sought work in June, the Bloomberg news agency reported, underscoring the likelihood interest rates will remain at a record low.

SYDNEY – Australia’s jobless rate returned to match the highest in a decade as employers cut full-time payrolls and more people sought work in June, the Bloomberg news agency reported, underscoring the likelihood interest rates will remain at a record low.

The unemployment rate rose to 6 per cent from a revised 5.9 per cent, the statistics bureau said on Thursday, matching the highest since July 2003. The number of people employed rose by 15,900. “June employment data are a mixed bag,” said Ms Katrina Ell, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in Sydney. “Looking through the monthly noise, Australia’s labour market is very gradually healing but employment growth remains below trend.”

The number of full-time jobs fell by 3,800 in June, and part-time employment rose by 19,700, Thursday’s report showed. Australia’s participation rate, a measure of the labour force in proportion to the population, climbed to 64.7 per cent in June from 64.6 per cent a month earlier, it showed.

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