Australian unemployment rate rises to 4.1 pct

Canberra, May 16 Australia's unemployment rate rose for a second straight month to 4.1 per cent in April.

According to official figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday, the unemployment rate rose from 3.9 percent in March to 4.1 percent in April -- the equal-highest rate since January 2022, Xinhua news agency reported.

The rise in the unemployment rate came despite the number of employed Australians increasing by 38,500 people between March and April, with a 44,600 rise in part-time positions partially offset by a 6,100 fall in full-time roles.

In the same period, the number of unemployed people -- meaning those who are not employed but are actively looking for work -- rose by 30,300 to 604,200.

The participation rate, which measures the proportion of the working-age population who are either employed or looking for work, rose slightly to 66.7 percent in April from 66.6 per cent in March.

"The employment-to-population ratio remained steady at 64.0 per cent in April, indicating that recent employment growth is broadly keeping pace with population growth," Bjorn Jarvis, head of labor statistics at the ABS, said in a media release.

"This suggests that the labour market remains tight, though less tight than late 2022 and early 2023."

The total number of hours worked by Australians was 1.96 billion in April -- 15 million fewer than in April 2023.

The federal budget handed down by Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Tuesday projected that unemployment would rise to 4.25 per cent by June 2024 and to 4.5 per cent by June 2025.

Source: IANS
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