Australia’s unemployment rate edges up to 7.5%

Australia’s unemployment rate has risen, with more Australians now without work despite jobs being created.

The nation’s unemployment rate edged up slightly from 7.4 to 7.5%, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data also estimating more than one million Australians unemployed in early July.

In WA, the state’s unemployment rate currently sits at 8.3%, falling from 8.7% per cent in June.

It is also well above the national average.

However, it is still the second highest rate in the country, behind Queensland at 8.8%.

The data was taken before Victoria implemented stage four lockdown restrictions in an effort to contain a second wave of coronavirus infections in the state.

Despite the higher unemployment rate, there was good news in the figures with rise in unemployment driven by more people looking for work.

The participation rate rose from 64.1 to 64.7%, expected to have been boosted by the reintroduction of some limited mutual obligation requirements under the Jobseeker regime in early June.

It is likely to receive another boost this month, with more requirements reintroduced on August 4 everywhere except Victoria.

There has also been a creation of jobs with an estimated 114,700 additional jobs.

The creation was almost three times better than the 40,000 expected by most economists.

In WA,  the state opposition has criticised the McGowan Government for a lack of improvement in employment.

Opposition Treasurer Dean Nalder said that WA’s unemployment rate should fall particularly with an improved position in relation to COVID-19.

He said the cause was not just coronavirus related.

“Our primary concern here is that we’ve got the massive easing of restrictions, yet the economy isn’t working in Western Australia when you see such high unemployment numbers,” Mr Nalder said.

“It’s not just high unemployment numbers that we’re seeing is a problem. We see that wages growth is the lowest in Australia over the last three and a half years and had the biggest fall of any state in Australia during coronavirus.”

“Business investment has been declining during the whole term of the McGowan Government.”

“There are number of economic indicators which are actually suggesting there’s a problem that’s beyond just the impact that we’re seeing just from coronavirus.”

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