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Australia’s unemployment rate rises to 6.9 per cent

Employment in Victoria fell by 36,000 jobs, following a 37,000 drop in August, and hours worked in the state declined 2.1 per cent.

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Economists were surprised last month by an improvement in the official jobless figure, with more than 110,000 roles created in August pushing the unemployment rate down to 6.8 per cent from 7.5 per cent. There had been an expectation of a jump to 8 per cent on the back of more restrictions to manage coronavirus outbreaks in Victoria.

While this put total employment back above 12.5 million, reaching levels seen in July 2018, total hours lifted by only 0.1 per cent and there was a significant increase in part-time positions and sole traders.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said the employment decline in September followed a strong increase in August, with the figures now 3.3 per cent below March.

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