Blokes lead the way as WA jobless rate tumbles


Australia's jobless rate rose to a nine-month high of 5.6 percent in April as more people looked for work, but the number of employed beat expectations as more full-time jobs were added.

There were 22,600 more people with jobs in April, more than the 20,000 expected by economists, with the growth all coming in full-time positions, seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

The Australian dollar has been boosted by the data, trading at 75.27 United States cents at 1200 AEST, up from 75.18 USA cents just prior to the release.

"The small rise in the unemployment rate is not a concern given that other measures of the labour market are holding up well".

The yield on Australia's benchmark 10-year Note, which moves inversely to its price, rose 1-1/2 basis points to 2.904 percent (3-month high), the yield on the long-term 30-year Note jumped 1 basis point to 3.380 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year up 1/2 basis point to 2.070 percent by 03:00 GMT.

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Plenty of people are still looking for work, keeping wage growth subdued.

"That's a million more Australians who have had the opportunity to realise their dreams", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull beamed, while visiting a Brisbane small business on Thursday.

BIS Oxford Economics head of macroeconomics Sarah Hunter said the wage results will make it challenging for the federal government to hit its projected budget surplus in mid-2020 given the Treasury's dependence on robust increases in income tax revenue. It has remained between 5.4 percent and 5.6 percent for nearly a year.

The unemployment rise came a day after data showed wages growth remained close to a two-decade low at 2.1 per cent, and only just ahead of the inflation rate.

"Other alleged causes of slow wages growth - such as low levels of union membership, the extent of casual employment, Australia's (wage) bargaining laws and migration - are not significant drivers of wages growth", said AIG chief executive Innes Willox.