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Australian unemployment jumps to 5.4%

Published on Oct 11, 2012 11:16 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's unemployment rate rose to an almost two-and-a-half-year high of 5.4 percent in September, data showed Thursday, with the rise largely blamed on more people looking for work.

The bigger-than-expected figure is well up from August's 5.1 percent, the Bureau of Statistics said, while it is also the highest since April 2010.

The number of people in full-time work increased 32,100 to 8.107 million, although that was was offset by a 17,700 decline in part-time jobs to 3.404 million.

Overall about 14,500 jobs were created, with analysts saying the jump in the unemployment rate was because of a 0.2 percentage point rise to 65.2 percent in the proportion of working-age Australians in or looking for a job.

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