Unemployment in Australia has jumped to 6.3 percent, despite the the creation of 38,500 jobs in July.
Across the Tasman, economists were expecting 10,000 jobs to be created and unemployment to rise to 6.1 per cent.
Unemployment jumped despite much better-than-expected jobs growth because the participation rate soared 0.3 percentage points to 65.1 per cent.
This rate measures the proportion of people either in work or looking for it, compared to the population aged 15 years and over.
This means that more people were looking for work, soaking up all the new jobs.
In another piece of data puzzling local economists, despite a 12,400 rise in full-time workers and increase in part-time employees of 26,100, total hours worked fell 0.2 per cent in July.
The more stable trend unemployment rate, which smoothes out monthly volatility, remained unchanged at 6.1 per cent.